NAME: Bruce Anderson
SCHOOL: North Dakota State
JERSEY: No. 8
RECRUITMENT RATING: N/A
WT: 202 lbs
Feet – Capable of making crisp cuts in tight quarters and stringing together moves. Lateral width in jump cuts is impressive. Springy off his plant foot and accelerates rapidly. Gathers himself quickly to stop and start. Operates from a balanced base and always keeps his feet moving through contact.
Vision – Benefitted from dominant run blocking in front of him and took full advantage. Is a patient runner that allows blocks to take form and work off them. Does well to cut and spring into daylight. Can be too quick to bounce runs to the perimeter and slow to cutback when necessary. Would like to see him attack creases a touch quicker as they open. Doesn’t get stuck in the same vicinity without a plan.
Pass Protection – Willing to step up and attack rushers but technique must improve, mainly with his feet. Does well to initially frame rushers but he gets flat-footed which allows rushers to attack his edges and puts himself in a state of recovery. Absorbs contact well.
Receiving – Illustrates natural hands and catches the ball cleanly. Tracks the ball well in the air and adjusts when targeted down the field. Has the fluidity and burst in/out of his breaks to separate easily against linebackers. Should have been used more as a receiver in college and it should be a major part of his NFL role.
Balance – Runs with a low center of gravity that enables him to absorb contact and sustain his upfield charge. Feet are always moving and his base in balanced. Strings together moves with excellent rhythm and body control.
Elusiveness – Has enough wiggle and twitch combined with lateral agility to make opponents miss in space. Good spring in his step and fluidity to get width when cutting. Finds good rhythm with his moves and illustrates terrific body control.
Power – Is a tough, physical runner for his size. Battles hard for every inch and keeps his legs churning through contact. Finishes runs and isn’t afraid to drop his shoulder and challenge tacklers. Not likely to be a consistent pile move but he fights.
Competitive Toughness – Love the way he competes in every aspect. Maximizes his touches, runs angry and finishes runs. Effort and aggression as a blocker is evident. Willing to throw a block and follow the football down the field when he isn’t the ball carrier.
Versatility – Multifaceted weapon. Offers playmaking upside as an inside/outside runner and as a pass catcher. Has some work to do in pass pro but he isn’t a total liability. Averaged 26.2 yards per kick return with 2 touchdowns on 52 returns for his career.
BEST TRAIT – Contact Balance
WORST TRAIT – Decision Making
RED FLAGS – None
Anderson is a versatile back that can fill numerous roles for a team, including the ability to return kicks. His burst, feet, balance and competitive toughness are strong traits while he does need some work in pass pro and in terms of decision making as a runner. He should be a productive weapon in the passing game given his route running skills and natural hands. Anderson has the upside to be a valuable weapon in a stable of backs but unlikely to be the focal point of an NFL rushing attack.