Position: Inside Linebacker
Weight: 241 Lbs.
Team: Florida Gators
Alex Anzalone 2017 NFL Draft Profile
There are always great players who scare teams because of their injury history. Alex Anzalone is one of those players. A former four-star linebacker from Wyomissing, PA, Anzalone’s college career developed at Florida. His first two years with the Gators were a struggle because of injuries but he still managed to play a combined ten games in 2013 and 2014. Unfortunately, the rest of his collegiate career would play out in a similar fashion: riddled by injuries.
When Anzalone was given the nod to start for Florida in 2015, it did not take long for another injury to appear. He only lasted two games in 2015 before succumbing to a season-ending shoulder injury that required surgery. By all accounts, Anzalone was working tirelessly to return from injury and have a more successful 2016 year. Before breaking his left arm against Arkansas, Anzalone was having a great year and living up to his potential. He had 53 total tackles, four tackles for loss, three sacks, two passes deflected and one fumble recovery before the injury.
- Good run defender.
- Great instincts and pursuit.
- High motor when blitzing.
- Great range (ability to play sideline to sideline).
- Good athleticism and great straight line speed.
- Great tackler.
- Able to play both inside and outside linebacker.
- Great leadership ability (according to coaches).
- Able to recover quickly after making a mistake.
- Able to take on blocks and shed them quickly to make a play.
- Occasionally gets lost in zone coverage.
- Needs to work on play recognition when dealing with the read option or the zone read.
- Does not change direction quick enough, nor is he very explosive.
NFL Comparison: Sean Lee
Teams with need at Position: New England Patriots, Indianapolis Colts, Tennessee Titans, Arizona Cardinals, Washington Redskins, Green Bay Packers, New York Giants, Kansas City Chiefs, Miami Dolphins, Detroit Lions, New Orleans Saints, Cincinnati Bengals, San Francisco 49ers
Projection: third or fourth round
After the injury, he went on to miss the remaining games, including their bowl game against Iowa. However, Anzalone was able to come back and play in the Senior Bowl where he successfully impressed scouts. He showed an improvement in his coverage skills, great tackling ability, and amazing instincts. Anzalone’s nose for the ball is natural. He often reads plays correctly and is always around the ball regardless who makes the tackle.
Teams have taken risks on injury riddled players before, so expect Anzalone to be drafted for sure. He has been shooting up the draft boards since his Senior Bowl appearance and should continue to do so in the upcoming weeks. Medical staffs will do their due diligence, but if he is healthy, he is an asset to whoever drafts him. Those injuries may hinder him from getting picked early but Alex Anzalone is a great value pick for any team on day two of the draft.