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hagan714 04-30-2015 11:12 PM

Saints select Stephone Anthony @31
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Saints select Stephone Anthony

With the 31st-overall pick in the 2015 NFL Draft, the New Orleans Saints selected Clemson Tigers inside linebacker Stephone Anthony. Anthony will be an immediate replacement for the departed Curtis Lofton, who left New Orleans for the Oakland Raiders, via free agency.

Grade: B-
Anthony is a solid player, recording 9.5 sacks in his career. The Clemson star is going to be a contributor immediately for Rob Ryan’s defense, so that is certainly a positive. Anthony has good speed and decent enough size, but was not ranked by most as a top-three inside linebacker. A majority of draft experts had Eric Kendricks, Denzel Perryman and Benardrick McKinney rated higher, but the Saints clearly disagreed.

NFL Draft grades: Saints select Stephone Anthony

New Orleans Saints Linebacker Stephone Anthony
Conference Call with Local Media
Thursday, April 30, 2015

Describe your thoughts right now. Some projections had you going in the second round. Did you see yourself going in the first round, and if so, was it to the Saints?

“There were some rumors going around that I may be selected in the first round, but I truly didn’t know. I met with a lot of different teams, and it was truly up in the air for me. I couldn’t get a feel for who really liked me and where I would go.”

Did you get an invitation to attend the draft?

“Yes I did. I decided not to attend, and I chose to stay home.”

Can you tell us about your contact with the Saints throughout the pre-draft process?

“I got the chance to meet with those guys at the combine. We had an actual meeting with coach Sean Payton, coach Rob Ryan, and coach Joe Vitt, the linebackers coach. He’s going to be an exciting guy to play for. I’ve been meeting with those guys throughout the whole process. It came down to the pro day, and I got a chance to meet with them again, and there was something about those guys that we clicked on.”

Read more: Stephone Anthony: Joe Vitt is going to be an exciting guy to play for


STRENGTHS Has desired build for position. Good play speed and is generally under control. Steady, consistent tackler when he's squared up. Has speed to chase to the sidelines and finish the play. Able to cover tight ends in passing game. Breaks to ball quickly against pass. Flashes ball skills and will play through pass-catchers. Features traits to be a more effective blitzer if called upon. Will compete through whistle and is physical against skill-position players. Lost job as junior and regained starting position with hard work and good attitude. Can cover ground laterally.

WEAKNESSES Below average take-on skills. Plays with poor leverage when taking on blocks. Needs to improve hand usage and utilize better arm extension to keep blockers off him. Has tendency to side-step blocks and open run lanes. Can be mismatched by running backs down the field in passing game. Slow to process and recover against play-action. There are times he gets downhill without diagnosing first, creating bad angles to the ball against outside runs.


SOURCES TELL US "Between the two Clemson linebackers (Vic Beasley and Stephone Anthony), they really put on a show (at the combine). Beasley is going high." -- AFC defensive coordinator


BOTTOM LINE Anthony showed off his athleticism this post season and now the question becomes whether he can play fast all the time as a pro. He tries to get downhill and make plays, but more often it feels like he's guessing rather than instinctive. If he can play with more control and play to his traits, he'll be a starting linebacker in the league.

Stephone Anthony Draft Profile
we all kinda saw this one coming. guess they did not want to wait till 44

|Mitch| 04-30-2015 11:15 PM

Re: Saints select Stephone Anthony @31
From Walter:


New Orleans Saints: Stephone Anthony, ILB, Clemson: B- Grade
Not Eric Kendricks? I had Stephone Anthony going to the Saints in the second round once upon a time, so I'd have to think this is a slight reach. However, there are some who believed that Anthony was the top inside linebacker in this class, so I'm not going to argue this too much. New Orleans obviously had a colossal need at inside linebacker because Curtis Lofton was terrible, so Anthony figures to be an upgrade.

SmashMouth 04-30-2015 11:15 PM

Re: Saints select Stephone Anthony @31

|Mitch| 04-30-2015 11:17 PM

Re: Saints select Stephone Anthony @31

B_Dub_Saint 04-30-2015 11:20 PM

Re: Saints select Stephone Anthony @31
I like this pick a lot. This guy could be a big surprise.

QBREES9 04-30-2015 11:22 PM

Re: Saints select Stephone Anthony @31
Let's hope so B Dub

|Mitch| 04-30-2015 11:22 PM

Re: Saints select Stephone Anthony @31

Ireland swaying, perhaps?

triman 04-30-2015 11:26 PM

Re: Saints select Stephone Anthony @31
Need pick big thumper that can cover ,good character, checks a lot of the boxes. Good pick late riser in the draft.

SmashMouth 04-30-2015 11:27 PM

Re: Saints select Stephone Anthony @31

Originally Posted by B_Dub_Saint (Post 652499)
I like this pick a lot. This guy could be a big surprise.

Well, we did need a QB of the defense. Something he did pretty well at Clemson, and that others who were available at 31 sucked more at doing. Maybe he helped make Beasley better than he might have been by making the right calls. He also appears to be a tackling machine.


The Dude 04-30-2015 11:29 PM

Re: Saints select Stephone Anthony @31

Originally Posted by B_Dub_Saint (Post 652499)
I like this pick a lot. This guy could be a big surprise.

I just hate hoping for a surprise in the 1st round. We have had too many projects (Not that this guy is a progect). We need our first rounders to count. Especially on defense. I hope he's a stud and an immediate impact. We are due when is comes to early round defensive picks.

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