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- Position: Linebacker (LB)
- Class: Senior
- College: Clemson
- Ht/Wt: 6'3", 243 pounds
Stephone Anthony is someone who could grow on me. He's an athletic linebacker with classic size for the position, who has a great talent for sliding past blocks into the backfield. Anthony has a good memory, and he reacts well when he has seen a play before, moving into position to blow it up. He has a great downhill burst, the long speed to carry a tight end downfield, and just enough short-area fluidity to hold up in most coverage situations. Anthony's not great at taking on blockers head-on, with only average core power, but he sifts through garbage incredibly well, finding the gap that will allow him to break through and make a tackle.
Right now, I think there are a few question marks in Anthony's game. For one thing, he commits hard to his first read on a play. This can help him make a tackle for loss, but against play action or cutbacks, it makes him very vulnerable. Anthony needs to sit back a little more and process the play, because he has the athleticism to make up the difference. While he's a good athlete, his lateral movement isn't quite what I'd like to see, and he sometimes gives ground on crossing patterns. In man coverage, he can be a mixed bag. Sometimes he sticks tight to his receiver, and sometimes he leaves a five-yard cushion that leads to a catch.
Anthony has the ability and drive to become a starting linebacker in the league, but I'm not sold on him being a plug-and-play starter. His weakness taking on blocks, and his tendency to overcommit to plays, will both make him the goat at times until he can addres those problems. I'd draft him at the end of the second round or in the third round, seeing him as a slightly more athletic Nigel Bradham.