Scouting Report: Alex Anzalone, LB

 

NEPD Staff Writer: Mike Gerken

We are just one week away from the Super Bowl and what better way to keep you distracted than with some NFL draft talk. I went into this process thinking Linebacker would not be a high priority for the Patriots because I thought they would resign one or both of Hightower and Collins. We know for sure that Collins will not be here and from some media reports, it sounds like Hightower at least wants to test the free agent market. If he leaves, that would create a massive need at the position. Even if the Patriots do retain Hightower, he has had issues staying healthy and it would be nice to get another play maker on the field with him. That is why today, we look at a versatile Linebacker that could help replace the production the team lost when they traded away Jamie Collins.

 

Name: Alex Anzalone (#34)

School: University of Florida (rJr.)

Height: 6’3″ (Senior Bowl)

Weight: 240 Lbs. (Senior Bowl)

Positives:

Anzalone is exactly what teams are looking for in a Linebacker in today’s NFL. He has a great combination of size and speed. He is also a very fluid mover who looks comfortable in space and will be able to drop in coverage and handle himself against NFL Tight Ends. Anzalone brings versatility to the football field as well. While at Florida he played both Inside and Outside Linebacker for the Gators. He was also asked to do a variety of things from those positions. On one play, the Gators staff would ask Anzalone to drop into zone coverage and on the very next play he could be seen rushing the passer off the edge. He showed the athleticism and speed to stick with Tight Ends and Slot Receivers in man coverage. Anzalone also showed good instincts and recognition skills and could quickly react to what he saw. He is a high motor guy who gives maximum effort on every play.

Negatives:

On the field, there is not much I saw from Anzalone that I didn’t like. One thing he will need to work on is his tackling. It is not that he uses bad technique, it just seems that he doesn’t run through the guy he is trying to tackle and he seems to bounce of guys rather than always bring them down. He also needs to work on shedding defenders. Overall he is pretty good at it, but there were times when he struggled to disengage from opposing blockers. Anzalone is not a natural pass rusher. He wins with speed, but does not have a pass rush skill set to fall back on if he doesn’t win with speed. He looks better when blitzing through the A gap rather than the outside. The big issue with Anzalone will be his medical checks. Anzalone has dealt with shoulder problems since he was in High School. He has missed significant time at Florida with injuries as well.  He has not been able to stay on the field consistently throughout his career and that will be a big issue for teams come draft time.

Overall:

I really like Anzalone. He has been one of my favorite players to evaluate so far in this process. He would be a perfect fit in the Patriots system and I think his athleticism and versatility could make him a really good player in the NFL. A lot of attention goes to Florida’s other Linebacker, Jarrad Davis, who is the flashier player of the two, but Anzalone seems like the more consistent player. The big issue will be the injury concerns, all the other stuff I listed as negatives are easily fixable with coaching. If there were no medical issues, Anzalone would easily be a top 50 pick for me, but I think he will go a round later or so because of the durability concerns. I think he would be a great fit next to Hightower on the Patriots defense and could have a similar impact that Jamie Collins had when he was with the Patriots.

 

 

 

 

 

 

34 Responses to “Scouting Report: Alex Anzalone, LB”

  1. Dan Sullivan says:

    President Trump and Governor Charlie Baker want to impress the
    American people heres how do something major about Addiction and Mental Illness.
    More Beds and much better after care of getting out of Hospital the American Families
    are hurting greatly.

    Mock Draft 3.0
    1 John Ross WR Washington
    2 Tahoh Kpassanon DE Villanova
    3 James Connor RB Pittsburgh
    4 Marqel Lee ILB Wake Forest
    4 Jehu Chesson WR Michigan
    5 Dylan Cole OLB Missouri St.
    7 Jonah Pirsig OT Minnesota
    7 Lorezon Jerome S Saint Francis

    Bring a Pizza if you know someone in Hospital for Superbowl.
    Enjoy Game I like a steady diet of Blount up the middle for the win. Go Pats.

  2. Matt says:

    The Pats have had not much luck drafting guys from FL. Spikes, Hernandez, Cunningham, Stork and Easley all went to school in FL and all did not work out for the Pats. I think its time for the Pats to move on from drafting from FL.

    • EdgeX says:

      Except for TE David Njoku – who has the potential to be a clone, skill wise, of Aaron Hernadez.

      He might not make it to the Pat’s first pick, but if he is, I put my first pick in for him.

      • Stephen J says:

        Good to know thanks Edge

      • Philip says:

        He is from the miami hurricanes … those guys are from the florida gators 😉
        basically the “country” Florida wouldnt be a bad spot …. wilfork was a former hurricane … stork was a seminole and their super bowl starting center … darius butler was born in florida and he was serviceable …

        • Matt says:

          When I said the Pats should stay away from FL I mean the whole state not just the University of. The Pats did get lucky drafting Wilfork. But that’s about it.

  3. Turbo says:

    What do you guys would do with Mixon? Even with his off the field issue, some team probably will take a chane with him. Would you guys take him in the 3-4th or he’s UDFA?

    • Stephen J says:

      Some team may take a chance on Mixon but it won’t be the Pats even as an UDFA. That is one thing Robert Kraft does not tolerate.

      • EdgeX says:

        I concur with Stephen. Robert Kraft has publicly stated that there is a zero tolerance in his organization for anything to do with domestic violence. Thus, Mixon is off the draft board completely for the Patriot’s.

  4. Stephen J says:

    Another who would you rather

    Rd 5 Derek Rivers Youngstown Edge or Duke Riley LSU

    Rd 5 Trent Taylor Wr or DAMONTAE KAZEE CB

    • steve earle says:

      Kazee would be my choice 4th rd even. He’s on the light side but fearless tackler and great in coverage. One of my favorites. Besides can’t see him getting out of 4th rd imo.

  5. Stephen J says:

    Who would you choose in the 1st round

    Ryan Anderson Edge from Alabama
    or
    Cam Robinson OT from Alabama

    • EdgeX says:

      Neither.

      • Stephen J says:

        So you would take RYAN RAMCZYK over Cam Robinson

        • EdgeX says:

          As of right now, if I had to rank Offensive tackles, before combine, pro days, and interviews, in this class I would go:

          1. Ryan Ramczyk
          2. Garett Bolles
          3. Cam Robinson

          All 3, I think would be a reach before the top 20 picks. Cam’s off the field issues: arrest with a stolen hand gun and narcotics issues really have him dropping down the draft board for me. At best, everything I’ve heard is that his off the field issues are a nightmare. Plus on top of all of this, he has some technique/mechanical issues that lead me to believe he might not have what it takes to be a LT in the NFL and better suited to be a RT.

          This is just my opinion though based on the information I’ve collected.

          Will NFL teams overlook this stuff? There’s a high probability of it. But if I was in control of an NFL draft board Cam Robinson would be off it for me.

      • Philip says:

        i agree with neither … would prefer Sid Jones (wash.), little Watt, Jarrad Davis or a trade for 2nd+4th+future 2nd (Bal, Philly or Texans)

  6. Stephen J says:

    Here is my favorite fanspeak mock draft so far

    http://fanspeak.com/ontheclock/draft.php?d=nqvvnh

  7. Stephen J says:

    I am playing on fanspeak mock draft.

    Who would you choose in the 1st if they were still on the board?
    1 S Jabrill Peppers
    2 OT RYAN RAMCZYK
    3 RB CHRISTIAN MCCAFFREY

  8. Stephen J says:

    Fanspeak is up and running here is my go at it today 5 rounder

    http://fanspeak.com/ontheclock/draft.php?d=zsjnxo

  9. Stephen J says:

    Here is the issue with Anzalone that relates to the health issue that you mentioned above. His size specifically his weight Dont’a Hightower is 270-275 and Jamie Collins was 250 but bulked up to 260-265 where as Anzalone is 240 if Hightower and Collins were getting banged up at their size doing what was asked of them how much more so Anzalone who already has issues staying healthy. Now I’d be more willing to take a flyer/chance with him if Hightower stays but if not I’d think that’s asking a bit too much at some point in time you will be thin at the position when Anzalone goes down with an injury and having backup players playing which is not ideal.

    • Stephen J says:

      Two players that are more Jamie Collins size when he was drafted is Kendell Beckwith of LSU and Vince Biegel of Wisconsin. At this point I haven’t followed college that much this year so I would have to do research and rely on you guys for your insights

    • Ryan says:

      I have no issue with his size as long as he’s fast. We could use a guy who can make plays all over the field, and we already have a fair amount of beef if we can keep Hightower. If we can’t, I do understand the need to branch out to larger, more durable players.

    • Philip says:

      Donta’s weight is more around 257 … he slimmed down prior the 2016 season and I don’t asume he’s up over 260 … can’t imagine a 270lbs guy playing zone that well … would be a too much of a liability

*/ ?>





  • Categories

  • Search NEPD Archives

  • Archives