2017 Miami Dolphins Draft Prospects: Linebacker Ryan Anderson

Taking a look at some of the Miami Dolphins options for the NFL Draft, today we look at Alabama linebacker Ryan Anderson.

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Jan 9, 2017; Tampa, FL, USA; Clemson Tigers quarterback Deshaun Watson (4) is pressured by Alabama Crimson Tide linebacker Ryan Anderson (22) in the fourth quarter in the 2017 College Football Playoff National Championship Game at Raymond James Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Jasen Vinlove-USA TODAY Sports

Continuing our new daily series, we continue to take a look at players the Miami Dolphins may consider selecting at some point during the 2017 NFL Draft. While these players may not all be first round quality, this series will look at players across all the rounds that the Miami Dolphins could select during the draft process.

Moving on from the potential day three selection of linebacker Matt Milano, today, we take a look at a player who could be a first or second round selection for the Miami Dolphins. In need of some linebacking help, Miami could pursue Alabama pass rushing linebacker Ryan Anderson.


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Background

A really good college story, Ryan Anderson took the route less traveled and will likely be rewarded for it when he is selected in either the first or second round of the upcoming NFL Draft. Despite struggling to see much playing time during his first two years at Alabama, Anderson chose to stick it out and eventually earned a starting role his senior season.

Recording 61 tackles, 19 tackles for loss, nine sacks, three pass breakups, and one interception — which he returned for a touchdown — in 2016, Anderson proved his worth to both the Crimson Tide faithful and to many NFL executives. Given his role as an outside linebacker, he could fit into Miami’s plan should they choose to go this route in the opening rounds of the draft.

Strengths

Shoulders and upper body present good size while also allowing him some great upper-body power that helps when he lays the boom. Professional approach when he is on the field while also being extremely dedicated to whatever assignment he has. Good hand movement while also willing to continue moving to avoid being hung up by bigger blockers.

Sturdy edge setter than can disrupt many a tight ends day. Relentless when blitzing and will almost always find a way to get to the quarterback. Leverage linebacker that rarely gives up a cutback lane. Always hustling when on the field and can be considered a finisher due to his tackling ability. Experience in both 3-4 and 4-3 defensive schemes.

Weakness

An average athlete as a whole, Ryan Anderson is not someone that will be the best player on the field. Lacks the speed needed to pursue and recover against faster receivers and running backs. Lacks the range of motion that many NFL scouts and coaches want in outside linebackers. Short arms will give him issues in shedding blocks against bigger blockers.

Is all effort when blitzing. That said, Anderson doesn’t possess the moves and traits that coaches want in pass rushing linebackers. Edge rush sees him take elongated route rather than tight and precise. Will struggle to play against many NFL tackles, making his reaction time even more important to any production he may achieve.

Highlight Reel

READ MORE: Miami should target Indiana guard Dan Feeney

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