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NAME: Anthony Nelson



POSITION: Edge Defender

CLASS: Junior

JERSEY: No. 98


HT: 6-7

WT: 271 lbs

D.O.B.: Not Available

PROS: Is a heavy-handed defender who consistently shoots his paws into the chest of blockers. Has great length, given his tall frame and carries his weight well. Stuffs up blockers with a strong base and is a competent block shedder with hands late in order to disengage and challenge the ball carrier. Combines run defending skills with a pleasant level of versatility rushing the passer. Has an effective bull rush to collapse finesse tackles back into the lap of the quarterback, but also shows secondary hand counters to create space when pressing up the field and looking to turn the corner. Motor runs at a high pace with consistency, has found himself flipped to the far side of the field in pursuit of the football. Fairly safe prospect with a high floor, although athletic ability will put ceiling into question.

CONS: Plays with notable tightness in the hips, isn’t a bendy pass rusher and as a result isn’t going to win at steeper angles when rushing the passer. Will need to soften angles with hands and power for consistent pressures. Had trouble against top competition (Wisconsin’s David Edwards) to extend hands consistently and finalize separation in order to address the ball carrier. First step explosiveness is not a trait Nelson will be able to lean on, so snap anticipation and timing will be paramount. Does not illustrate the same anchor when tasked with playing with width and stringing out plays, a byproduct of tight hips and inability to open lower half to the sideline and flow with blockers freely.

– Kyle Crabbs