Name: Rodney Anderson
CONFERENCE: Big 12
POSITION: Running Back
CLASS: RS Junior
JERSEY: No. 24
RECRUITMENT RATING: 4-star
WT: 219 lbs
PROS: Ideal NFL level build and athleticism. Runs behind his pads. Does a good job of staying behind his blockers, patiently waiting for a hole to open. More effective running behind pullers. Has positive contact balance and does a good job avoiding low tacklers despite taller frame. Runs through arm tackles and defenders generally need to square him up to bring him to the ground. Can get vertical and find dirty yards between the tackles. Possesses quality long speed and field vision in the open field. Lethal space player.
Though he isn’t overly powerful when taking on tacklers head on, he consistently picks up yards moving forward through contact. When a hole opens, he does a good job of hitting it quickly. Sticks his foot in the ground and glides by his blockers at the second level. Positive lateral mover behind the line of scrimmage and in the open field. Willing blocker in pass protection.
CONS: Can occasionally have questionable vision behind the line of scrimmage on inside and zone runs. Too quick to cut back or bounce on inside zone. Only has average burst through the hole compared to NFL running backs.
Has suffered multiple season-ending injuries throughout collegiate career. Durability will be a question mark upon entering the NFL.
PROS: Has an NFL frame and great athleticism for his size. Straight-line burst impresses for a 220 lb back — can destroy angles when breaking into space in the second and third level alike. Ability to explode creates poor tackling angles, which — in combination with excellent thickness in lower half and contact balance — makes Anderson a tough ask to tackle in space. Willing to drop his pads into contact to deliver a shot; regularly falls forward and often breaks the initial contact. Ability to work at steep angles through the lower half and retain balance, especially in an instant/instinctively, shines through as special.
Has an excellent feel for second- and third-level flow and understands how to manipulate box defenders when pressing the line of scrimmage. Third level anticipation and instincts particularly impress. A one-cut runner who likes to get north and pick up positive yardage. Has excellent hands out of the backfield and has run a full tree of routes. Will line up in the slot/to the outside and win downfield as well. Pass protection generally a mixed bag, but there’s promise.
CONS: Not particularly agile and doesn’t make many players miss in space. Given size/speed profile, needs extra gather steps/gallops to change direction when buzzing at full throttle. Noteworthy: ability to redirect and explode when pressing line of scrimmage is fine.
Has an urgent running style that may partially be necessitated by scheme. Regardless, gets too frantic pushing behind pullers and is guilty of jumping at first sunlight, over-anticipating the timing of the blocking scheme. Eagerness will also lead to some herky-jerkiness and indecision behind the line. Will become slightly too married to the backside cut on zone flow, but not to a terrible point. Must improve willingness to take on contact with square shoulder in pass protection.