NFL Draft Prospect Profile: Stephone Anthony, ILB Clemson

Green Bay Packers NFL Draft prospect profile: ILB Stephone Anthony, Clemson

Player Information:

Stephone Anthony
6-3, 243 pounds
Hometown: Polkton, NC


NFL Combine:

40 yard: 4.56

Bench: 23

Vert: 37″

Broad: 122″

3 cone: 7.07

Shuttle: 4.03

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:

  • “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.”
  • “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.”


Video Analysis:

  • 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


26 thoughts on “NFL Draft Prospect Profile: Stephone Anthony, ILB Clemson

  1. All the high end draftable ILBs suck this year…gotta think we’ll be drafting a DT/OLB/CB combo on the first 2 days and rolling with CM3 and developmental guys next to Barrington…. or TT could pull his head out of his you know what and just frigging sign Rolando McClain to an incentive-laden contract…. sigh

    1. There are just no easy answers. Should have signed a ILB while there was still some around. We are arguably one good ILB away from having a top 8 or 7 defense, but Thompson is being way too patient to have one fall in his lap. Pray to God he knows what he’s doing.

      1. I think realistically the Packers can have a very good defense with just an average pair of inside linebackers. Keep in mind ILBs aren’t a premium position in a 3-4 defense like they are in a tampa-2 defense.

        1. You’re absolutely right, we don’t need a Patrick Willis or Bobby Wagner. Desmond Bishop was perfect. But there are no capable linebackers left in FA. The only one left is Rolando McClain and he’s facing a 10 game suspension. I really don’t feel like this year’s draft has a great class of linebackers, or at least not nearly as strong as last year’s. I would hate to see Thompson have to waste his first round pick on an average linebacker.

          1. I don’t think ILB was that great last year either, of the 1st round linebackers Mack and Barr were definitely more olb/rush type of players while Shazier and Smith were sort of tweeners. Shazier has been meh so far while Smith tanked as OLB and supposedly they will try him at ILB (not sure how Alonso fits into all this). Realisitically only Mosely was a premium ILB prospect last year

      2. Praying won’t help you or the Packers. It’s been a need for years. One of Kendricks/Anthony (a second round prospect at best) will be available. Watch TT take a NT, instead.

    2. I disagree. The ILB class is actually deeper than last years class. They might not be as good at the top but there isn’t a huge drop off like last year. I think a guy like this could be very productive in the Packers’ scheme.

      1. I agree, there are lots of inside linebacker prospect that will probably go on to have good careers, maybe no all-pro or pro-bowl type careers but good enough to not lose a game for a team.

          1. I’m willing to bet other teams targeted Hawk later in his career if not earlier.

    3. “All the high end draftable ILBs suck this year….”

      You are of the mindset that none are better than what we had or remain still? LOL

      1. Well anything is better than last year’s corps since none of last year’s starting inside linebackers are still with the team.

        1. I would find it hard to classify the ILB’s this draft as a ‘anything is better than last years corps’ as a conscious grading.
          If that is the fact,then TT should simply wait for the 6th rd comp or UDFA’s to fill the need and use the other picks to get whoever in the 1st rd that is a ‘can;t miss’ regardless of position…yes?

          1. It’s not just “is this player the best player left in the draft” its also “this player is the best player left for this team” and “this player is the best player left compared to our current team”. Since AJ Hawk and Brad Jones are no longer with the team, literally any player would be better for the Packers at the moment.

    4. If there was a “can’t miss” inside linebacker in this years draft, the Packers wouldn’t have been able to get him anyways since they don’t have the ammo to move up from #30.

    5. I think that’s exactly what they’ll do, you can’t argue with the success they had last year with it, not to mention CM3’s stats after the switch. I really like Anthony, been on his bandwagon since before the combine and like him even more since. Another I wouldn’t mind seeing in a Packers uniform is Eli Harold, OLB from Virginia. I think your thoughts on DT/OLB are right on Bearmeat, at least in round one.

  2. The size and measurables favor Anthony over Kendricks. The thing is, Kendricks has excellent hips, while Anthony’s look so-so. Kendricks’ football instincts look better to me as well. Looks to me like Kendricks can cover in man and zone; Anthony seems to have some issues in those regards. IIRC scouts have suggested that while Kendricks was 232 Lbs at the combine, he gets down as low as 219 Lbs. I’d be surprised if there was not a significantly more talented player available at #30 than Kendricks or Anthony. Agree with Bearmeat that DT, OLB (which I am high on) or to a lesser extent CB should be the pick at #30.

    1. Ultimately, the Packers do have need at OLB: Peppers is not-for-long, Perry and Neal get some time out there, but they’re not difference-makers, and a lack of good ILB talent means that CMIII is going to split time inside.

      The more I study, the less I’m impressed by this year’s CB class. I agree: I think the pick at #30 will bring best value at DL or OLB.

      1. OLB is incredibly hard to gauge since most NFL-caliber 3-4 OLBs are 4-3 DEs in college and often times team struggle to project them as rush linebackers. Sometimes you get lucky like with CMIII sometimes not so much like Nick Perry.

  3. Pick him but only if he’s there for our scheduled 2nd round choice. Please, don’t use the 1st round pick for him. Better to pick Kevin Johnson, CB, Wake Forest.

    1. I think the Packers can get by without drafting a CB high, sure if he’s the best player left then draft him, but most in the media only have maybe 1 or 2 CBs drafted in the 1st so it’s not a very great group this year.

  4. I do hope they find and get an impact D player period , ILB focus is a concern, no need to reach and waste a pick because they already are better than last year by subtraction and no more having the foolish hope that the guys they had would do it. I had waited for that alone far too long.

  5. Value this year means close to immediate impact on D. No dev prospects with top picks please.

  6. Kendricks is a looser hipped Nick Barnett, Davis can be better. Get the DT spot locked up and give him a year to compete and learn. Sam is a good enough thumper to play well in base against the run this year. If Davis has it upstairs he can be great. There are some late round guys that will be players in the league as well, no sense taking in the first round, the 6th round will be gold for Teddy this year.

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