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Camp Battles: Defensive Line

July 8th, 2009 Comments off

Unlike the offensive line, the defensive line is fairly unsettled as far as the starting lineup. Jonathan Babineaux and John Abraham can be assured of retaining their starting spots, but the other two positions are up for grabs.

At left end, Chauncey Davis and Jamaal Anderson will compete. But this is Anderson’s job to lose. The team is fairly confident that Davis can handle the starting job if need be. He outplayed Anderson last year, despite coming off the bench. This summer may mark the last chance Anderson has to prove his worth. If he doesn’t impress, might find himself in a new city by the end of August.

At nose tackle, Trey Lewis and rookie Peria Jerry are expected to be the primary competitors. It seems the Falcons would prefer for Lewis to win the gig, and Jerry to serve as the backup tackle at both interior spots, but the coaches like Jerry enough that they would feel fairly comfortable starting him right away. Lewis was solid for the first half of 2007 before an injury sidelined him and he missed all of last year as well. So this summer will be really the first chance the coaches get a look at him outside OTAs and some film study.  So they definitely aren’t married to him as far as the starting spot goes.

The competition for the backup behind Abraham should also be fairly intense between Kroy Biermann and Lawrence Sidbury. The winner of that battle could get a lot of reps on passing downs, subbing for Abraham as well as working opposite him since the team likes to move both Anderson and Davis inside to rush the passer. It’s likely that both players will be retained, since the team is looking to develop more speed off the edge.

Also in the mix inside is Jason Jefferson, Thomas Johnson, Tywain Myles, and Vance Walker. All four are likely competing for probably only one roster spot in the tackle rotation. Jefferson is the most experienced, but Walker is a draft pick, giving him a small boost. Myles and Johnson however offer a bit more beef. But because the team can move either Davis or Anderson inside on passing downs, there isn’t a strong need for a fourth tackle if none of the players steps up.

If I was to make a predict today, I would lean more towards the team keeping five ends and three tackles with Davis and Jerry winning the starting gigs by summer’s end.

Falcons re-sign Davis

March 3rd, 2009 Comments off

Steve Wyche of NFL.com reports that defensive end Chauncey Davis re-signed with the Falcons. Davis, a free agent that is expected to compete for the starting job this year signed a four-year deal worth $14 million, with $8 million paid over the first two seasons.

The Falcons had planned to visit with Green Bay Packers defensive end Mike Montgomery today, but per the AJC, that visit was cancelled once the team re-upped with Davis.

Davis started 1 of 16 games last year, finishing with 38 tackles, 4 sacks, and 3 fumble recoveries. He could supplant 2007 first round pick Jamaal Anderson as the starter. Anderson had another disappointing year, starting 15 games, but wound up with 27 tackles and 2 sacks. In order to make room for Davis, the Falcons have tinkered with the idea of moving Anderson to defensive tackle on a more permanent basis.

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Anderson could move to DT

January 17th, 2009 Comments off

Pro Football Weekly reports that it is very likely that Falcons defensive end Jamaal Anderson move inside to defensive tackle next year. Anderson has been a disappointment thus far in his short Falcon career at defensive end. He was drafted eighth overall in the 2007 NFL draft.

As a rookie in 2007, he started all 16 games but did not record a single sack. This past year, he tallied 2 sacks and 27 tackles at left end. But his playing time diminished as the season wore on. The team utilized him inside on passing downs throughout the season and per the PFW report could plan to do so on a full-time basis next season.

Likely filling in for Anderson at left defensive end will be Chauncey Davis, who is a free agent this off-season. Despite serving as a backup, Davis finished the year with 38 tackles and 4 sacks. Falcons nose tackle Grady Jackson is also a free agent, but Anderson isn’t expected to move there, rather serving as a backup to Jonathan Babineaux, who recently was given a five-year extension.

Per PFW, without a strong training camp, Anderson could be released. That could make him potentially the highest drafted player in 2007 to be released. Currently, the 49th overall pick Bengals running back Kenny Irons, the brother of Falcons corner David, holds that distinction.

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Baker shut down with hip injury

October 29th, 2008 Comments off

D. Orlando Ledbetter of the AJC reports that the Falcons have decided to keep rookie left tackle Sam Baker out of this weekend’s upcoming game against the Oakland Raiders, as he’ll be sent to see two specialists about his hip. Baker did not start this past week against the Eagles due to the hip injury. Todd Weiner started in his place, but also left the game after reaggravating a previous knee injury. He was replaced by Quinn Ojinnaka.

Baker has already missed time this season due to a concussion and other injuries. If either he or Weiner are unable to go, Ojinnaka is expected to start. Per the AJC, the Falcons might pursue other options in free agency to shore up the left tackle position.

In other injury news, defensive end Jamaal Anderson’s status for this weekend is unknown. He left Sunday’s game against the Eagles with a concussion and will be reevaluated this week.

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Training Camp Preview: Defensive Line

July 21st, 2008 Comments off

The Falcons defensive line also went through some major changes, particularly on the inside.

Inside, the team will have some serious competition for the two starting jobs. As of right now, however Jonathan Babineaux and Montavious Stanley are slated to be the team’s starters. Babineaux had his moments as a fill-in over the past few years replacing Rod Coleman when he was down with injury. Now the Falcons hope that Babineaux can be able to put it all together for a complete season. Babineaux has good quickness and can put pressure on the quarterback, something that the team will need this season as it tries to replace a pass rusher like Coleman.

Stanley is slated to start at the nose tackle position. But Stanley is essentially only penciled in as the starter because Trey Lewis, the incumbent is out with injury. There has been no timetable as when Lewis may return, and that probably won’t be known until a few days or weeks into camp. Lewis suffered a knee injury last year, but re-aggravated it in the off-season. More dire reports indicate he could miss several months of the regular season at the least. Stanley filled in for Lewis late last year, and like Babineaux had his moments. He’s a big, run stuffer. The reason he’s ahead of the other possible replacements for Lewis is because the coaching staff knows him, after he spent much of the first half of the 2006 season with the Jaguars.

Babineaux is unlikely to be pushed significantly for his starting job, while Stanley will probably be looking over his shoulder throughout training camp.

If either is unseated, Kindal Moorehead may be the one to do it. Moorehead is similar to Babineaux. He spent the past five years as a rotation player with the Panthers. He’s best when putting pressure on the quarterback, and will likely get a chance to impact on passing downs. His best season came in 2004, when he replaced an injured Kris Jenkins and performed fairly well in his absence.

Joining Moorehead are two more valuable veterans in Rashad Moore and Tim Anderson. Both have starting experience, but it’s doubtful either would leapfrog both Stanley and Moorehead to gain the starting position. Both will most likely compete for the nose tackle position. Anderson was signed by the team last year due to injury, and made some contributions as a pass rusher. As a starter with the Bills a few years back, he was a disappointment. Meaning, Anderson’s best contributions are probably off the bench.

Moore would probably be able to contribute more as a run stopper. He started for the Seahawks in 2004, but like Anderson works best in a rotation rather than as a starter. He’s familiar to Thomas Dimitroff due to his time with the Patriots last year.

Also in the mix is David Patterson. The team thought very highly of Patterson a year ago as an undrafted free agent, that he was one of the highest paid undrafted free agents. But he missed the entire season with injury. Patterson offers some versatility as a guy that could potentially play end or tackle for the Falcons. But they will be looking mostly for him to provide some pressure from the interior this year.

The competition at end won’t be as heavy. One starter’s job is very safe, and that is John Abraham, the team’s leading sacker last year. Abraham has been nicked up in the past, and that is always a concern for arguably the team’s top player on either side of the ball. Abraham is adept as a speed rusher and forcing turnovers and is an obvious difference maker when he’s healthy.

The other end is not so secure, although incumbent Jamaal Anderson will likely be given numerous opportunities to retain his job. Anderson struggled last year as a rookie, going the entire season without a sack. The team is hopeful that with a year’s experience, being a few pounds lighter, and the added tutelage of new defensive line coach Ray Hamilton, Anderson can make huge strides this year.

If anybody is going to push Anderson it will be Chauncey Davis. Davis clearly outplayed Anderson last year, and he’s not known as a pass rusher. Davis is an ideal third defensive end due to his ability to play the run and rush the quarterback, although he’s better at the former.

The team also added ex-Brown Simon Fraser. Fraser may also get work inside at defensive tackle. Like Patterson, he’s an Ohio State alum that offers the versatility to play multiple positions and could be a valued commodity in the rotation.

The team also tried to upgrade the speed it had on the edge with fifth round draft pick Kroy Biermann, undrafted free agent Brandon Miller, and Willie Evans. Biermann was an impact player at Montana and is known for his motor. Both he and Miller are undersized, so even if they made the roster their reps would be limited. Both would probably be ideal practice squad players where they can use the year to get stronger and bigger before they are put to the test. But if both show some ability as a situational pass rushers this summer, they will get chances during the regular season. Evans has bounced out the league on several teams since entering in 2006 as an undrafted free agent. Like Miller and Biermann, he lacks ideal size but will be given a chance to impact as a situational pass rusher.

The Battles

Stanley vs. Anderson vs. Moore vs. Moorehead – Stanley has the edge, but all will be given the chance to win the nose tackle job as the fill-in until Lewis is healthy.

The Falcons will likely keep eight lineman as part of their rotation, not including Lewis. Abraham, Anderson, and Davis seem unlikely to be released. But who the other five are is a toss-up. Stanley, Fraser, and Moorehead may have the inside track to three of those jobs. Biermann, Evans, Miller, and Patterson are all eligible for the practice squad.

2007 Draft Recap: Jamaal Anderson

April 29th, 2007 Comments off

Hog Wired

Jamaal Anderson

Height: 6-5
Weight: 288
College: Arkansas
Birthday: February 6, 1986
Hometown: Little Rock, AR AGILITY TESTS & MEASURABLES

40 Speed: 4.75
20 Yd: 2.73
10 Yd: 1.59
Bench: 22 reps
Vertical Jump: 34 inches
Broad Jump: 9’8″
Short Shuttle: 4.22
3 Cone Drill: 6.88
Arm Length: 33 5/8 inches
Hand sizez: 9 7/8 inches


NFL Draft Countdown
by Scott WrightStrengths: Has great size with a large frame and long arms…A smooth athlete with excellent agility…Strong and powerful…Terrific pass rusher who can be effective with either a bull-rush or finesse moves…Does a quality job versus the run…Motor runs non-stop…Very good in pursuit and has a burst to close…Is versatile and could play a number of different roles depending on the scheme he is in…Has a ton of upside.Weaknesses: Does not have a lot of starting experience…Timed speed and quickness are good but not great…Still pretty raw and will need some technique work…Will play too high and needs to display more consistent leverage…He will struggle to separate from blocks at times…You could run the risk that he is simply a one-year wonder.Notes: His father Glenn played college basketball at Gallaudet University…Had a terrific junior campaign in 2006 despite a lack of national recognition…Could easily fit in either a 4-3 or 3-4 defensive scheme…Similar to Richard Seymour and could be a poor-man’s Mario Williams…Even though he’s not yet a finished product this guy has all the tools to develop into a premier all-around defensive end in the pros.

Grade: First Rounder


SI.com
by TFY Draft PreviewPOSITIVES: Athletic defensive end with tremendous upside. Keeps his pads low to the ground playing with terrific leverage and is rarely off his feet. Plays with terrific balance and body control, and easily beats immobile blockers. Fast off the edge.NEGATIVES: Lacks overall playing strength and is slow shedding blocks engaged at the point.ANALYSIS: Possessing size, growth and a lot of natural skill, Anderson is a terrific prospect with big upside. Can be used as a pass-rushing right end, but also has the abilities to grow into a two-gap lineman. Must physically mature.

PROJECTION: Early First Round

GRADE: 4.21 — Quality Prospect


NFL.com
by NFLDraftScout.comPositives: Has good arm length and reach, showing a tight abdomen and a frame that can carry at least another 10 pounds of bulk with no loss in quickness … Possesses that rare speed that lets him consistently explode past a lethargic offensive tackle … Demonstrates good knee bend and loose hips to redirect … When he stays low in his pads, he can generate leverage and keep his balance on the move … Changes direction well and has the lateral range to give a good chase in backside pursuit … Intelligent athlete who does well in school, having earned Honor Roll recognition at Arkansas … Has a natural feel for the game and is very good at jumping the play … Shows a nose for the ball, evident by the high amount of pressures he generates … Might lack brute strength, but he gets most of his pressures and sacks on second effort … Very good handling stunts because of his determination to make the play … Self-starter who doesn’t need structure in the training room … Learned the proper technique of opening his hips and dipping his shoulders to get a strong push in his initial thrust … Has the sudden initial step off the ball to beat the offensive tackle off the edge … Lacks the lower body thickness to split double teams, but possesses the change of direction flexibility to drop his weight and re-direct when the gaps are plugged … When he keeps his hands active, his long arm reach allows him to defeat the combo block and re-route in backside pursuit … Demonstrates the ability to dip his shoulder to reach, grab and jerk the blocker off his stance … Uses his body lean well to slip off the offensive tackle’s inside shoulder … Disruptive force in the Leonard Little (Rams) mold when he is utilized on stunts … Has the nimble feet and lateral range to flow to the ball with ease and can close in the short area with good explosion … Possesses the speed to chase down plays in backside pursuit and the change of direction agility to make plays outside the box … Has started to develop a better concept of gaining position, staying low in his pads and maintaining leverage in order to make the wrap-up tackle … When he drops his weight and plays with leverage, he can prevent the blockers from washing him out when working in-line … When he keeps his center of gravity low, it lets him get into the rush lane and push back the lead blocker to clog the holes … You can see on film that he has a good feel for blocking schemes … Might take wide angles at times, but he has the flexibility and balance to come back down under … Despite his lack of hand usage, he sees the field well and is quick to spot even the slightest of creases in order to shoot the gaps … His spin moves and quickness let him easily defeat the slower offensive tackles when working off the edge … Quick to find the ball in a crowd and is alert to offensive adjustments at the pre-snap … Can still be fooled a bit by play-action or misdirection, but he generally has a natural feel for the flow of the ball.Negatives: Can be sudden in his initial movement, but lacks the overall strength, especially in his lower body, to escape from the blocker once the opponent latches on to him … Shows a good flow to the ball working down the line and has made very good strides in improving his footwork, but will still take a wide angle to the quarterback at times … Is efficient at using his arms in defeating reach blocks, but must develop more consistency with his hand thrust to jolt offensive linemen coming out of their stance … When he tries to take a wide path into the backfield, it leaves him susceptible to screen and draw plays to his side … If he can improve his upper body power and shoot his hands more, he would be more effective at beating double teams … Relies on quickness more than brute strength to penetrate inside and plays with good leverage and strength, but they will be negated when he fails to use his arms to combat blocks … Needs to stay lower in his pads to get through trash, but when he gets too erect in his stance, blockers can get underneath him and attack his legs … Good collision tackler, but will sometimes revert to grabbing and making arm tackles … Will sometimes over-pursue on the play, as he prefers to slip and avoid blockers rather than attacking them when coming off the edge (more combative working in-line).Compares To: Aaron Schobel — Buffalo … It is evident that Anderson is a great speed rusher coming off the edge or when stunting. Like Schobel, he needs to demonstrate better hand usage to keep blockers off his body, but both have the lateral range, second gear and explosion to be a disruptive force in the backfield. While Anderson is taller and heavier that Schobel, both rely on their quickness for most of their success at getting to the quarterback.


The Huddle Report
by Drew BoylhartSTRENGTHS: Jamaal has the athletic talent, size, speed and strength to play his position. In fact, the skills that make the NFL drool with anticipation of a future dominating DE. He shows good strength to handle defending against the run along with a very good burst off the line to scare the bejesus out of any opposing QB. He has those long arms that he can use to knock down passes when he doesn’t get to the QB — and he is a good tackler. Jamaal could be the type of player that could make the players around him better. Jamaal could be a franchise DE for the team that drafts him.NEEDS TO IMPROVE: Jamaal is not a very consistent player and until this year, it was hard to find him on the field when he played. He has one pass-rushing move right now and that move is to out-quick his opponent off the snap. If he is up against a good OT, he does not continue to fight if he is stopped from getting into the backfield off the snap. Right now, Jamaal is just a much better athlete than the players he’s played against in college. He needs to improve in all phases of his game.OVERALL: There is no doubt that Jamaal is a player that is a first round player, but he has so much to learn that it’s shocking. He is a boom or bust pick with a buyer beware label right in the middle of his forehead. The draft is about drafting potential impact players and Jamaal is a potential impact player; however, I’m not convinced that he has the work ethic to go along with that potential. Here is the funny thing about Jamaal…I think that if you’re going to draft him, he should be drafted as high as possible because I think he will respond better to the pressure of being a very high pick in the draft more than if he is taken later in the 1st round. This is a kid that seems to have a lot of pride. I know this sounds crazy, but I believe that if Jamaal is taken in the top ten players of this draft, he will want to prove that he was worth it. After the top ten players are picked and Jamaal is not one of them, then I would not pick him until the second round. If he is selected in the 2nd round, you will hurt his pride and he play for you with a chip on his shoulder trying to prove everyone wrong for passing on him. Anything else and you run the risk of this kid getting depressed and not living up to anyone’s expectations because he will think that no one really expects that much out of him. Now, I know this will not happen, and trust me — I know this sounds crazy. It’s just that sometimes, to motivate kids to play beyond the million dollars that you are about to hand them, you need to understand what pushes their buttons. Jamaal has a long road ahead of him at the next level in spite of his immense talent. That road will require him to use mental strength that even he doesn’t know he has right now. That mental strength has to be tapped or this kid will fail big time. I think the way to do that is to tap into this kid’s pride. This kid is going to need a lot of positive, but at the same time, truthful, coaching. As a coach, if you try to blow smoke up this kid’s hindquarters, he will lose respect for you, shutdown and not become the player that his talent suggests he can become. I’m sorry, but this is what I see when this kid plays on the field. What can I say?! We have a player with enormous talent and a fragile psyche. Gee, I wonder if he’s the first one to ever have this combination? NOT!

TALENT BOARD ROUND: 1


On The Clock DraftJamaal Anderson has been starting at defensive end for the better part of the last two years at Arkansas. During that time he has proven to be a very durable player. He has a tremendous combination of size, strength, and athleticism for a defensive end. He has a quick first step, allowing him to beat most offensive lineman off the snap. He has the size and strength to overpower most opposing offensive tackles. He is an excellent edge pass rusher (13.5 sacks in 06) with good closing speed getting to the quarterback. He has the ability to chase the ballcarrier down from behind and he makes a lot of plays behind the line of scrimmage. Jamaal has less than two years of starting experience and is still a bit raw. He relies on his physical abilities too often and will have to improve his technique to be as successful at the professional level. Jamaal is already one of the better defensive ends in the draft and is sure to be selected in the top half of the first round; however, with good workouts he could become the top defensive end prospect in the draft due to his tremendous upside. Jamaal Anderson would’ve benefited from staying in college for his senior season, but as it is, he has a great chance to be a top 10 pick in the 2007 NFL draft.


Football’s Future
by Robert DavisAnderson is a former wide receiver that made a smooth transition to defensive end. As a freshman reserve, he was in on 18 tackles. As a sophomore, he was in the rotation, and started the last five games of the year after an injury, and he has taken off from that point. He had 47 tackles, 10.5 for loss, and four sacks that season. Anderson blew up as a junior, finishing with 65 tackles, 19.5 for loss, and 13.5 sacks.Jamaal Anderson is an absolute freak physically. Not only is he an excellent athlete, with great quickness and agility, but he has great size as well. He is a difference maker off the edge as a pass rusher. He dominated as a junior, and still has a ton of untapped potential. He could be an all around force at the next level.Anderson is still adjusting to playing in the trenches, and is still a work in progress. He has been able to get by on his tremendous physical ability, but he will not be able to rely on that alone in the NFL. He declared after his junior year, only having about a season and a half of starting experience under his belt.

Anderson has the size and talent that will draw comparisons to Mario Williams and Julius Peppers, and he carries a great deal of upside at the next level. He had a solid showing in the post season, but probably not enough to overtake Gaines Adams as the top end in the draft. His upside is amazing, and he could make teams that do not select him regret it in the future.


About.com
by Conor DowleyPositives: Big and surprisingly athletic for his size, Anderson can dominate opposing tackles with his power and surprising burst off the edge. Anderson is big already, but has the frame to add even further bulk, enough to play end in a 3-4 or take an under-tackle role in a 4-3 defense. But he’s probably best suited for end with his style of play.Negatives: Anderson is very, very, very, raw. His technique is sloppy, and he frequently gets by on his unrefined ability and sheer strength. That does the job in college, but he’ll have a harder time of it in the pros. He has a ton of burst and acceleration, but he doesn’t have much speed to burst and accelerate to, which means he’ll have a hard time pursuing the run or chasing down a quarterback from behind.Overview: Anderson is a high-quality prospect, but with how raw he is, he has a high bust potential. He’ll still be a high pick on pure talent and his awesome potential (he could be the next Reggie White with the right coaching), but he should have stayed for his senior year. In the end, he’ll probably be a mid-first round pick, with a chance at cracking the top ten.


Draft Ace
by Ryan McCrystalStrengths: Great size. Solidly built. Great athlete for a defensive end. Decent speed. A complete defensive lineman that is solid as a pass rusher and against the run.Weaknesses: Fundamentals and technique are a little shaky. Only has one full year of starting experience.Comments: Anderson entered the draft after an excellent junior year, but his lack of experience could hurt his draft stock. He doesn’t look like the type of player that can come in and have a huge rookie year, however it is easy to see why he is so high on many draft boards by watching some of his game film where he simply overpowers offensive tackles and shows some nice moves to get into the backfield.


Draft Board Insider
by Curtis PopejoyPOSITIVES: This kid is a brute. He’s tall, has long arms, and carries a ton of weight as solid muscle. Some folks have compared him to Richard Seymour, but for me, he’s like an overgrown Shawne Merriman. Anderson really showed dominance, not only as a pass rusher, but a run stopper as well. He is relentless in pursuit, and has great explosion off the corner. It’s always fun to see a man as big as Anderson move like he does. He’s got a nice array of moves coming off the edge, but for the most part, he’s simply bigger, stronger and faster than anyone lined up against him.NEGATIVES: Anderson is relatively inexperienced, and coming out as a junior after a breakout season will make some folks wonder if he can maintain that level of play. He doesn’t have elite speed but it’s more than adequate. Anderson doesn’t always play with great leverage, but that is more than likely a product of just inexperience.FINAL WORD: Anderson is the best defensive prospect in the draft and has easily supplanted Gaines Adams as the best rush end in this draft. I know, I know; He’s raw, he’s not polished, but in a league that covets players like Anderson, he’s a gem. He’s got amazing size and moves like a man 30 pounds lighter. It will be interesting to see how he runs at the combine and what he weighs, because if he comes in a little lighter, like many suspect he will, and runs really well, he could end up more Shawne Merriman than Richard Seymour.


Consensus Draft ServicesOverview: Jamaal Anderson is a big DE who is surprisingly athletic for his size. He arrived at Arkansas as a tall, lanky WR prospect. He stepped into a starting role at DE halfway through his sophomore year after an injury to Anthony Brown and really produced. His senior year exceeded everyone’s best expectations and he has garnered the attention of the NFL as a result.Strengths: He has the size to add some bulk and strength to be a 5-tech DE. With a good amount of effort in an NFL weight room, I wouldn’t be surprised to see him excel at the 3-tech in a 4-3 alignment too. Playing the 4-3 end as a senior, he showed a real nose for the big play, racking up nearly 20 tackles behind the LOS, including 13.5 sacks. He gets off the snap quickly and has the speed to get past the blocker before he has a chance to set up. He’s able to get to the QB by flashing inside the OT, or by dipping a shoulder and rushing wide. Anderson has a high ceiling as he continues to learn how to play the position and grow into his frame.Weaknesses: Inexperience. Anderson only has 19 career starts at DE. As a result, he is still learning technique. He often gets too high in his stance and can be washed out of the play too easily. He still needs to show more strength at the point of attack as he isn’t the dominant run stopper that a man his size should be. If the blocker is able to engage him, Anderson struggles to disengage. He doesn’t hand-fight particularly well and will give up on a play if he’s unable to get an immediate advantage on the offensive lineman. As a pass-rusher, he tends to get too far upfield and too wide at times, which opens big holes for the running game. He’ll need to become more disciplined at the next level.

Projection: Anderson wowed everyone with his stellar senior season. His production in the tough SEC (especially considering his best games were against the best competition) combined with outstanding physical potential, could have Anderson looking at a first round selection in the 2007 NFL Draft.


Northwest ScoutingAthletic, NFL sized pass rusher in the mold of Julius Peppers. Plays with a good motor and is relentless in his pursuit of the quarterback. Has a very solid arsenal of pass rush moves and can get after the Quarterback with power and speed. Can redirect inside. Uses his long arms and hands well to shed blockers and swat down passes. Possesses good range… but doesn’t change direction quickly and lacks good lateral mobility. Gets in the backfield and disrupts running plays. Appears to possess good instincts and is always around the ball. Good wrap up tackler. Plays with solid strength and leverage at point of attack… but could use some work versus the run. Can be quick, but is not very explosive off the ball. Will disappear from time to time and appears to pick his spots. Has the frame for an additional 15-20 lbs. Anderson will likely get drafted a little higher than he deserves. The potential is there, but… Anderson is NOT a top 10 player. 4-3 Base End and possibly 3-4 Defensive End… in time. Mid/late first round prospect. Could get taken as high as #6 to Washington, but that is unlikely. San Francisco at #11 is a possibility. St. Louis at #13 seems about right. Would never get past Denver at #21. Similar to: Julius Peppers.

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Falcons choose Anderson

April 28th, 2007 Comments off

The top choice for the Atlanta Falcons in the 2007 NFL Draft is Arkansas defensive end Jamaal Anderson.

Anderson (6’6″ 279) was one of the premier athletes in the draft. Evidenced when he ran a 4.76 40 at his pro day, benched 225 pounds 22 times, and had a 34-inch vertical leap. He was considered the second-rated defensive end by most draft experts. He started only 19 games at Arkansas, but tallied 99 tackles, 28 for loss, and 16.5 sacks during those games. Anderson entered the draft as an underclassman after a strong junior season in which he recorded 65 tackles, 19.5 tackles for loss, and 13.5 sacks. Anderson is noted for his pass rush ability, along with his ability to play the run, making him considered by many the most complete defensive end at the top of the draft.

Anderson is likely to compete for the open left defensive end spot vacated by Patrick Kerney. Currently, third-year pro Chauncey Davis is slated to start at that position.

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