NFL Draft Scouting Report: Stephone Anthony

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Oct 5, 2013; Syracuse, NY, USA; Syracuse Orange quarterback Terrel Hunt (10) dives for extra yards while being hit by Clemson Tigers linebacker Stephone Anthony (42) during the first quarter at the Carrier Dome. Mandatory Credit: Rich Barnes-USA TODAY Sports

My Take

Strengths: I have to agree with the two scouts’ take on Anthony’s “ideal build” at 6’3″, 243 pounds. I also agree about his play speed as he does go sideline to sideline in pursuit to make plays. He also uses that speed to shoot gaps when diagnosing a running play to stop it in the backfield.

But they don’t give him enough credit for being the big hitter you want in the middle of your defense. Zlerlein only gives him credit for being physical with skill position players but he blows up lineman too when he wants to. The two scouts didn’t give him high marks on his pass coverage skills but I think he’s solid in coverage.

Weaknesses: Zlerlein’s take on Anthony’s ability to take on blockers being below average is off. He is physical enough to take on blockers when he wants to but his problem he doesn’t do it enough. Like both scouts’ say, he leaves holes open by side stepping blockers and his speed sometimes gets him in trouble because he overpursues.

That overpursuit is often caused by Anthony flying toward premature and inaccurately diagnosed play. If you want to throw on him, play action is the way to go because he commits fully to it before getting back in coverage. He’s going to need to reign it in a little and play with some discipline to become a starter in the NFL.

Next: At the Combine