Green Bay Packers NFL Draft prospect profile: ILB Stephone Anthony, Clemson
6-3, 243 pounds
Hometown: Polkton, NC
40 yard: 4.56
3 cone: 7.07
News and Notes:
The Packers need an inside linebacker; that shouldn’t blow anyone’s mind. However this year offers many different flavors of inside linebackers, with cover linebackers, thumper linebackers, small linebackers and big linebackers (there’s even a safety trying to get drafted as a linebacker). If the Packers are looking for a big and fast linebacker who can aggressively attack the ball, then Stephone Anthony is your guy.
What they’re saying about him:
- CBSSports.com: “While Anthony’s production, compact frame and aggression are impressive, he could be viewed as a bit of a ‘tweener at the next level. Anthony does not possess ideal speed to beat backs to the sideline or the agility preferred in coverage, traits required of middle linebackers in a standard 4-3 alignment. Complicating his projection as a 3-4 inside linebacker is the fact that Anthony currently struggles to disengage from blockers, relying more on his burst to beat them initially or defensive linemen to keep him clean.”
- NFL.com: “Anthony has the athleticism to be an NFL linebacker, but he’s not an explosive talent. He tries to get downhill and make plays, but more often it feels like he’s guessing rather than instinctive. He’ll take high-risk chances that will turn some coaches off. Anthony can make it in the league but he might be more of a depth-chart player than a long-time starter.”
- Is a energizer bunny on defense; has a very peculiar running style that looks like he’s hopping around or stutter stepping at the beginning of plays. On one hand I’m guessing he’s trying to keep his feet active, on the other he’s wasting a lot of steps basically going nowhere.
- Possess the ideal frame and speed for a linebacker, also shows great explosion and quickness based on his combine numbers (comparable to Clay Matthews III)
- Pretty good tackler when all is said and done. Sometimes likes to bait blockers to get a better angle on the ball carrier but is hit or miss in that regard.
- Is above average going sideline to sideline and above average when dropping back in coverage. Not as technically sound as Eric Kendrick in the pass defense but probably has more physical ability.
- Very aggressive defender who can sometimes get sucked up on play misdirection and sometimes takes poor angles in the pursuit of the tackle (such as running around blockers).
If drafted by the Packers
Stephone Anthony was one player that the media had mentioned that the Packers were interested in and after watching the tape I can see why. Anthony and Kendricks are probably the 2 best inside linebacker prospects in this years draft and it really comes down to what a team prefers; Kendricks is definitely more polished and a better pass defender while Anthony probably has a higher ceiling and definitely has the measurables. Frankly I wouldn’t mind either player although Kendricks might have a slight advantage since the Packers likely need a player who can contribute immediately and pass coverage has be missing from the inside linebacker group for a long time.——————
Thomas Hobbes is a staff writer for Jersey Al’s AllGreenBayPackers.com.