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NFL Draft

2021 NFL Draft Scouting Report: RB Otis Anderson

  • The Draft Network
  • January 31, 2021
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PROSPECT SUMMARY - OTIS ANDERSON

Otis Anderson played both receiver and running back over his first three seasons at UCF but played almost exclusively in the backfield in 2020. He also brought value to his team as a punt returner, where he logged 41 returns and averaged 11.5 yards per return with a touchdown. He also had five muffed punts. Anderson is lean back with a narrow build that looks like a slot receiver playing running back. While he does a good job of running to daylight and following his blocks, more dynamic burst and elusiveness are expected for a back of stature. As his frame would suggest, the power components of the position are missing and he isn’t a threat to produce after contact or break tackles. If a team is willing to carry a utility weapon that can situationally carry the football, provide another option in the passing game, and provide depth as a punt returner, Anderson can fill that role. With that said, his lack of size and power are notable and he isn’t as dynamic as you would like for a player in that type of role to be. 

Ideal Role: Gadget player on offense that provides depth as a punt returner.

Scheme Fit: Gap blocking.

FILM EVALUATION

Written by: Joe Marino 

Games watched: Marshall (2019), Georgia Tech (2020), Houston (2020), Memphis (2020)  

Best Game Studied: Houston (2020) 

Worst Game Studied: Memphis (2020) 

Vision: Anderson does a good job of following his blocks and running to daylight. With that said, I don’t see much nuance pressing the line of scrimmage to widen gaps and make his blocks right. He doesn’t have much of a feel for anticipating creases and is probably best suited to work in a gap blocking scheme. 

Footwork: Anderson has a lean and narrow build so he is quick and springy with his feet. For a smaller and shiftier back, more dynamic cuts and the ability to string together moves were expected on film. Anderson does well to position himself to work off blocks with how he builds his base. 

Contact Balance: Anderson has a lean frame with a narrow build that is not engineered well for producing yards after contact. He isn’t a tackle breaker and he goes down quite easily once he’s hit. His narrow build not only limits his ability to sustain his momentum through contact, but limits his balance when stringing together moves and executing dynamic cuts. 

Durability: Despite a slender build, Anderson managed to avoid any significant injuries in college. Anderson produced for four seasons in college but only logged 449 touches from scrimmage and never more than 144 in any one season. Anderson projects as a role player at the next level, so asking him to carry the load won’t be a requirement at the next level. 

Explosiveness: Anderson is a smooth and springy back but I’d stop short of calling him explosive. Considering his size, I expected more burst and breakaway speed on film. He doesn’t have the acceleration and long speed to consistently break pursuit angles like I wanted him to. 

Versatility: Early in his career, Anderson split his time between running back and receiver, but he almost exclusively played running back in 2020 despite having the body composition of a receiver. Anderson has 41 career punt returns, averaging 11.5 yards per return and a touchdown. He also has five muffs. Anderson is capable of filling a number of roles, but he has restrictions in all of them. 

Elusiveness: Anderson is loose and springy. With that said, he has a narrow build and modest balance, which creates some limitations when it comes to being super dynamic in space like you want him to be for a player of his stature. He’s modest when it comes to making people miss in space and showcasing shifty moves.  

Ball Security: Anderson has some egregious, untimely fumbles on his tape to go with his five career muffed punts. He is not a consistent handler of the football and there is an element of “hold your breath” when he has the ball in his hands. 

Passing Down Skills: Anderson’s appeal on passing down comes as a receiver, where he mostly showcases reliable hands and can be a difficult cover for linebackers out of the backfield. Anderson was poor in pass protection in college and he doesn’t project well to face-up blocking in the NFL given his lack of size and strength. He does have some experience working from the slot, which is helpful in his valuation. 

Discipline: For a smaller back, Anderson does a good job of staying the course and staying within himself. He understands that, despite his stature, he isn’t the most explosive ball-carrier, so he isn’t overly quick to bounce runs and avoid contact. With that said, he has to be more consistent at protecting the football and not being loose with it. 

Prospect Comparison: Garrett Wolfe (2007 NFL Draft, Chicago Bears) 

SCOUT GRADES

TDN Consensus: To Be Determined

Joe Marino: 64.5/100

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