Utah's Bradlee Anae has developed into a top 2020 EDGE prospect

Photo: USA TODAY Sports - Jeffrey Swinger

With at least seven sacks in each of his last two seasons for the Utes, Utah defensive end Bradlee Anae has been an established force in the PAC-12 since his sophomore year. But what if I told you he saved the best for last for NFL scouts as a senior? Knowing how good he’s been throughout his career, that seems like a stretch, but he’s playing at another level as a pass rusher right now.

At 6’3, 265, you can easily see he has the size and strength of a three-down player at the next level, as his ability to consistently convert speed to power has been his calling card as a rusher against PAC-12 tackles. But now, he’s showing the scouting world that there’s more to Bradlee Anae than what we initially thought. Specifically, I’m talking about his juice off the edge in 2019.

Before the season, here is where he ranked among the individual big boards from our staff.

Kyle: 90

Ben: 114

Trevor: N/A

Joe: 101

Jordan: 104

Jonah: 118

Those rankings reflect what his tape showed in 2017 and 2018 — a productive and consistent edge defender who plays with a strong motor, but has yet to show anything more than baseline traits as a pass rusher, in regards to his projection to the next level.

But I’m telling you right now, those rankings will change in the next big board update. Why? Because he’s finally showing a different side of his game that we haven’t seen before — fluidity and bend. It’s only been in flashes, but now that I know he has this in his pass rush toolbox, it makes him that much more unpredictable off the edge. He already has a wide array of counter moves in his arsenal, including a deadly inside spin. 

As you can see here, he’s always been an explosive, powerful unit for the Utes, but his film in 2019 is showing another side of his game — finesse and fluidity — that will surely change the scouting narrative on his projection in the 2020 NFL draft.