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(David Bernal/isiphotos.com)

The Patriots have a Vince Wilfork-sized hole to fill at defensive tackle, and despite having Sealver Siliga, Alan Branch, and Dominique Easley likely back and healthy next year, the draft seems like the ideal solution for finding a solution. One player that could be available to the Patriots in the third day of the draft is Henry Anderson.

Anderson is an interesting player. His size and athleticism make him a bit of a tweener between a defensive tackle and an end. He lacks the speed and athleticism to be a DE, but doesn't have ideal power and weight to play DT. That said, he is far from a bad player and could provide Bill Belichick with an interesting project.

Measurables:
Height: 6’6″
Weight: 294 Lbs.
Arm Length: 33½”

Combine Results:
10 Yard Dash: 1.63
40 Yard Dash: 5.03
Vertical Jump: 30″
Broad Jump: 111″
3 Cone Drill: 7.20
20 Yard Shuttle: 4.19

Pro Day Results:
23 reps of 225 lbs

College Stats:
142 tackles, 32 tackles for a loss, 17 sacks, 7 passes defended, 1 forced fumble

Professional Comparison:
Bjoern Werner - While Werner is a tad smaller (6'3" 266 lbs) and a DE, their combine numbers (outside of 40 yard dash of 4.83s), were quite similar: 25 reps on bench, 31" vertical jump, 111" broad jump, 7.30s 3 cone drill, and 4.40 20 yard shuttle.. Both are adept at using their hands and anticipation to fill gaps and get passed the line of scrimmage. Additionally, both have issues with explosiveness and being outmatched if he can't shake the initial punch of offensive linemen.

Strengths: 
Height and length allow him to swim over offensive linemen. Keeps his head up and has good vision to follow the play. Can line up in a variety of alignments on the defensive front. Could play both DE or DT, ideally a DE on run downs and a DT on passing downs. Uses hands and arm length to separate himself from blockers. Constant effort and can make second chance plays. Knows to look to knock down passes if his rush is unsuccessful.

At 5:30-5:38 - Shows interior pass rush skills, using hands and length to get around OL.
At 5:39-5:47 - Can shed blocks in run game and get after ball carriers.
At 6:10-6:28 - Keeps going when others would have given up after being pushed wide on his rush.



Weaknesses: 
Not powerful enough to push through blocks. If he is out-leveraged, he can be taken out of plays. Doesn't explode. Won't make flashy plays. Lunges often to make tackles instead of driving through his hits. Lateral quickness is disappointing. Missed six games in 2013 with an MCL sprain. Doesn't have the size or power to play a nose tackle. Slow feet and struggles with balance occasionally.

At 6:29-6:36 - If the OL gets leverage on him, he is stood up and taken out of his rush.
At 7:13-7:20 - His lack of lateral quickness is exposed, not being able to keep feet shifting to get RB.
At 8:16-8:24 - If he is double teamed, his strength isn't enough to hold his own ground.



Projections:
4th to 5th round. I've seen him in a variety of places on draft boards, anywhere from the 3rd round to the 6th round, but I think he isn't either of those two extremes. If a team is ok with his lack of speed and sees him as a 3-4 DE then he very well could go sooner than expected.

But there have been some that REALLY like him.




Will the Patriots draft him?
If he slips to the 5th round, the Patriots very well could see Anderson as a project that could develop into the type of player that could play on multiple downs. With his size and experience, he could be used in a variety of techniques, giving Belichick that versatility he so craves in his players. People rave about his team first mentality and his intelligence, making his transition into the Patriots locker room that much more promising.

Follow me on Twitter - @PatriotsInform

For more of my articles, click here.

Adam Bogdan 4/10/2015 01:01:00 PM Edit
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