All of Buffalo Rumblings' 2015 NFL Draft coverage can be found in our NFL Draft section. These scouting reports are part of our 2015 NFL Draft big board, which is also available under the "Library" header on our site's navigation bar.
- Position: Edge Setter (ES)
- Class: Senior (redshirt)
- College: Stanford
- Ht/Wt: 6'6", 294 pounds
Sometimes I'm pleasantly surprised when I scout players for the draft. I got to Henry Anderson, noting his tall build and above-average athleticism, and wondered if I had another five-technique project like Brent Urban up for viewing. Instead, I saw a defensive lineman who has learned to play with a low pad level and great leverage despite his height, which takes care of my biggest concern when projecting tall linemen.
Anderson has strong hands and arms, which he uses with plenty of energy to disrupt blockers. He's strong enough that getting a single hand on a player is enough to bring him down. He is capable of getting skinny to split two offensive linemen, and has a really solid rip finisher to disengage from a block on his way to the quarterback. With his low pad level, he's rarely held off by a single blocker, and he holds his position well in the running game. Anderson was used all over the defensive line at Stanford, even excelling every now and then at nose tackle. He's a high-motor player who is capable of making a lot of plays through sheer force of effort, and he'll wear a lineman down over the course of a game. He's capable of moving fluidly around the field, and he turns the corner well.
As active as his hands are, Anderson needs to get lighter on his feet. He often forgets to take extra steps to reset his position or leverage, and that causes him to be kept out of plays. One downside of him playing at such a low pad level: he's very top-heavy, and finds himself on the ground a lot. He has the persistence to get up and keep going after he falls down, but he really needs to avoid getting there in the first place, probably by working out his legs to improve flexibility and balance. He also needs to improve his gap integrity. Stanford often asked him to play contain roles, but I saw him taking angles that led to open gaps several times.
There's a lot that I liked about Anderson's game. While he's not a freak athlete, he's a strong, disruptive player who's capable of playing in multiple spots on the defensive line. I could see him rotating in with Buffalo's defensive line early and often as a rookie. While I'm not sure his ceiling is as high as Jordan Phillips or Carl Davis, I think he's a lock to have at least an Alan Branch-level career in the NFL, and I'd draft him in the second round with the belief that he'd become a strong starter down the line.