By: Steve Johnson
Anthony Nelson, Edge, Iowa
*Combine measurements and drills will be added in Feb.
2016: 13 games. 33 tackles, 8 TFL, 6 sacks, 1 pass break up, 2 FF
2017: 13 games. 41 tackles, 9.5 TFL, 7.5 sacks, 5 pass break ups, 2 FF
Accolades: 2017 Third-team All-Big Ten (Media)
History: Three-star recruit from Waukee, IA. An All-State selection and the Class 4A Western Iowa Defensive Player of the Year. Also played basketball and was first-team all-conference as a Junior.
Strengths: Great size. Exceptional length can disrupt the Quarterbacks vision. Gets his hands up when he can’t get home. Packs a lot of power in his hands. Can collapse the pocket with a good bull rush. Understands leverages. Keeps his long arms extended. Has a nice swim. Good tackler. Special teams experience. Motor runs hot.
Weaknesses: Limited athletically. Isn’t going to bend the edge. Lateral ability isn’t great. Doesn’t have the closing burst that would check the box for some teams. Get off isn’t impressive. Could get stronger, specifically in the lower body.
Overview: Nelson is a player that not every team may covet, but he is a player that you know what you’re going to get out of him. He is long and active, always running hot. He brings a solid bull rush and is active in the run game. He could add bulk and play as a 5-Technique DE, but his best spot is as a strong-side DE in a base 4-3, with the ability to move inside on pass downs.
Draft Projection: 2nd Round Pick
Phanaddict Draft Grade: TBD
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