2019 NFL Draft Prospect Report: Anthony Nelson


Name: Anthony Nelson

Position: DE

School: Iowa

Listed Height: 6’7

Listed Weight: 271

Strengths: Anthony Nelson has a tall, lean frame with an intriguing amount of length for the position. As a run defender, he shows flashes of advantageous length usage to lock out into the tackles chest and set a physical, condensed edge. His hands are fitted exceptionally, as his tight elbowed arm extension does not allow tackles access to his chest. He plays with considerable power in his lower half, which allows him to soundly anchor against drive blocks. As a tackler, his natural anatomical length and wingspan allows him to have a wide spanning reach for ball carriers entering his area. When pass rushing, he shows a variance of hand moves (push pull, rip, long arm) that can help him counter when initial rush is stalled. He shows the ability to flip his hips following an OL overset, which gives him a clear path to making a play. At the top of the arc, he showcases the ability to turn his inside knee towards the QB, drop his hips, and flatten at an advantageous angle. Effort and motor is not an issue here, as he fights through contact and chases down the ball carrier through the whistle often.

Weaknesses: Anthony Nelson doesn’t have the quick twitch, or overall explosive qualities to challenge tackles directly after the snap. His pad level at times will rise, which discards any advantage that anatomical length gives you due to giving up access to functional power and your chest. At times, he will get reached and out maneuvered at the POA which can be avoided. When you recognize a tackle tackling that outside bucket step, meeting him at the spot with a lockout and driving your inside knee through his inside number will allow penetration and the ability to make a play on the ball carrier. Hip tightness and lack of flexion and bend in ankles and knees can also be seen on tape.

Overview and Insights: Anthony Nelson is a long, lean player who has the physical tools necessary to be an adequate player in the right system. He possesses variance in his hand moves, the ability to counter, and lock out capabilities which can condense and set the edge. He is limited athletically, but if he is used correctly I think he can produce at a solid level.

Round Projection: Round 4

Scout: Nathan Papandrea

Nathan Papandrea