Sep 20, 2014; Tallahassee, FL, USA; Florida State Seminoles quarterback Sean Maguire (10) is pressured by Clemson Tigers linebacker Stephone Anthony (42) during the first half at Doak Campbell Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Melina Vastola-USA TODAY Sports
Fit in Quinn’s Defense & Final Thoughts
The Falcons desperately need a three-down player at the MIKE position, and barring some unforeseen circumstance like a late signing, they must find that player in the draft.
Anthony is an athletic marvel that possesses the versatility and attitude to be a productive starter in the NFL.
He can step right in to the MIKE position on Quinn’s defense, supported by two solid starters in Durant and Reed, and playing behind a defensive line that should be much improved from 2014.
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While he isn’t going to blow up the NFL in his first year, Anthony should be a huge step up from Worrilow in coverage and against the run. He’s also a physical player that should help bring some much needed toughness to a unit that has long been considered soft.
With Quinn, the “Hands Master”, teaching him, there is no reason why Anthony can’t become a solid starter for years to come. He’s got the upside to be much more than that, but a solid starter at the MIKE position should be enough to help turn the Falcons defense around.
At best, Anthony offers a Pro Bowl-ceiling with the ability to do a lot of things well. At worst, he’s a rotational player that can help out in a number of ways, including as a situational rusher.
With the way the draft appears to be shaking out, it is unlikely the Falcons will be able to find a starter at ILB after the second round.
The offensive guard class, on the other hand, appears to be deep and a potential starter could fall to the third. If it were up to me, I’d pull the trigger on Anthony in the second and commit to the defensive rebuild.
There’s also this particularly interesting tidbit from ESPN’s Falcons reporter Vaughn McClure:
What about you, Falcons fans?
Is Stephone Anthony an ideal fit in Quinn’s defense? Would you take him with the Falcons second round pick? Wouldn’t it be cool to see former teammates Beasley and Anthony playing together on the Falcons?