Atlanta Falcons 2015 Draft Spotlight: ILB Stephone Anthony
Linebacker Paul Worrilow has a pair of free agent linebackers in Brooks Reed and Justin Durant, wo will possibly join him in the starting lineup this upcoming season. However, the middle linebacker position is not a secured position at this point in time for the Atlanta Falcons.
“Quinn desires that his players are to be “fast and physical”
Although Worrilow racked up 143 tackles, deeper research into film shows that he struggled in some phases of the game. One of which was pass coverage. Pro Football Focus rated him number 59 out of 60 ILBs last season.
So while ILB may not be a glaring and alarming need, it is a position that could be addressed in the upcoming draft. Today we will focus on a linebacker whose name has been brought up a time or two as a possible Worrilow replacement.
ILB Stephone Anthony
Weight: 243 pounds
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Anthony has an ideal frame for a NFL starting linebacker. With that size comes good speed to roam from sideline to sideline.
The former Clemson linebacker is a solid tackler who possesses technique wrap-up skills and can also lower the shoulder and bring the wood. A physical linebacker who has the ability to be an impactful blitzer when needed. One thing I love the most about Anthony is, when its time to plant the foot and get downhill, he does it and brings everything with him.
Also showcases the ability to drop in zone coverage and be able to make plays.
Versatile linebacker who was voted first team All-ACC and Butkus Award semifinalist.
He doesn’t always take the best of angles when pursuing, which sometimes takes himself out of a play and creates possible big plays for ball carriers.
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At times, play action fakes confuses him more than it should and he needs to show some more discipline in that area. Every now and then you will see Anthony side step blocks which makes things easier for offensive lineman and ball carriers.
By now you’ve heard coach Dan Quinn’s agenda for the entire Falcons team. Quinn desires that his players are to be “fast and physical”. That is a clear description about Anthony. The NFL Combine portrayed his 4.56 speed which is great for a ILB at 243 pounds and this analysis of Anthony displays his physicality.
For one, I like Worrilow but no, he’s not your ideal linebacker when you think of a prototype LB. What Anthony brings to the table is a bigger, faster, and more athletic linebacker.
Can you imagine Anthony lined up next to Reed and Durant? Defensive Coordinator/Linebackers coach Richard Smith may shed tears of joy at the thought of that potential.
Anthony brings the tools to the linebacker position. In my opinion, the simple tweaks of sharpening his instincts and gaining more discipline in certain aspects of the game can make Stephone Anthony a force to be reckon with.
Next: Blogging Dirty Writers Mock Draft: Round 3