DE Anthony Nelson, Iowa

6’7” – 271 lbs. – 4.82

Did not record any statistics as a freshman, but burst onto the scene the following year with an impressive 33-8.0-6.0 debut. Went 41-9.5-7.5 and 45-13.5-9.5 to conclude his collegiate career. Very well-built defensive end who typically lined up on the left side of four-man lines for the Hawkeyes, playing some different techniques. Comes out of his snap pretty low and with solid get-off, although he rises as the play goes on. Played in a defense which called for two-gapping and is better-suited to that type of role at the pro level as well. Given his size and strength, can be a handful for opposing blockers in the run game. Anchors well and has enough power in his hands to put opposing blockers on their back foot. Has heavy hands and good placement to get into an opponent’s pads and discard them at the appropriate time. Wide tackling radius and reliable tackler because of his length/strength. Good patience in backside contain when the play goes in the other direction. Would like him to get his arms extended on a more consistent basis. Range in pursuit is limited but gives good effort and actually has fairly quick feet for his size. A little bit plodding in his overall movements, but has one of the best bull-rushes of any edge defender in the draft, and produced as a pass-rusher at the college level. Despite his height, comes off of the snap with a low pad level and brings a tenacious bull-rush with good leg drive to walk back opposing linemen; makes right tackles look like blocking sleds. Can also be a handful when trying to squeeze through gaps, barreling through opposing offensive linemen to create congestion. Has pretty active hands and works in some other moves but isn’t a major threat to win with his speed rush or with other moves off the snap. Needs time to regather/redirect when rushing off of the edge. Doesn’t have the best closing burst to finish with sacks, allowing quarterbacks to flee the pocket when he’s the only player getting pressure. Gets his hands up to contest passing lanes. One of the more physically overwhelming defensive ends in the draft, he lacks the explosiveness, speed, and body control to win the edge and bend back to the passer, but he offers stout two-gap run defense and an impressive bull-rush which should allow him to work into a pro rotation.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s