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A one-year starter at Alabama, Anderson started at the SAM linebacker position in Sabans 3-4 base scheme, lining up off the edge (two and three point) and standing up over the guard. A middle linebacker recruit out of high school, he redshirted in 2012 and was a little-used back-up in 2013 and saw more defensive snaps as a sophomore in 2014, finishing with 25 tackles, 8.0 tackles for loss and 3.0 sacks. Anderson was again a reserve in 2015 as a junior, but produced like a starter with 37 tackles, 11.5 tackles for loss, 6.0 sacks and two forced fumbles. He returned for his senior season and became a starter at the SAM linebacker position, leading the team with 19.0 tackles for loss and four forced fumbles. Anderson also added 61 tackles and 9.0 sacks, but was snubbed from the All-SEC team.
Anderson, who leaves Tuscaloosa ranked top-10 all-time in tackles for loss (40.0, seventh) and sacks (19.5, ninth), lacks prototypical size and wont test off the charts athletically, but plays faster than his timed speed with a hyper-accelerated motor and the football intelligence to sense what is about to happen. Anderson plays a power-packed, physical brand of football and his intensity doesnt give blockers any easy reps. Although his on-field production is based more on effort than rare skills, it is easy for scouts and coaches to appreciate his game due to his persistent hustle, competitive toughness and killer instinct.
STRENGTHS: Compact, muscular build with naturally low pad level. Upper body power to dictate the point of attack, stacking, shedding and unlocking from blocks. Alert football player with above average awareness, putting himself in position to make plays. Excellent contact balance to power through gaps and remain on his path to the ball. Physical wrap tackler with strong hands to finish tackles. Comes to balance on the move to meet ballcarriers from different angles. Light feet to sidestep bodies and quickly regain his momentum. Cover awareness to drop and restrict passing lanes flashes natural ballskills (only one career interception, but returned it 26-yards for a score vs. Washington in the 2016 playoffs). Six forced fumbles the past two seasons. Plays pissed off with trademark toughness and a menacing attitude. Reliable production, leading the team in tackles for loss (19.0) and finished second in sacks (9.0) as a senior, his only season as a starter.
WEAKNESSES: Tweener frame with below average height and length. Doesnt rush with twitchy get-off and often late off the snap. Tight-hipped and lacks the loose flexibility to easily skim and flatten. Slows down once engaged. Overwhelmed by doubles and forced to make pit-stops through congestion. Tends to sacrifice technique at times and rely on his aggressive motor. Herky-jerky in reverse and will allow too much spacing the further away from the ball. Immature past, including a 2015 arrest after an incident with a female was also sent home from the 2012 National Championship Game for a violation of team rules. Only one season as a starter.