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Jets 2019 UDFA Calvin Anderson OT Texas

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Smart player with good size

TCU v Texas Photo by Tim Warner/Getty Images

Calvin Anderson 6’ 5” 300 lbs OT Texas #66

It would take less than a five minute conversation with Calvin Anderson to figure out he is a very smart kid. He was a 3 year starter at LT for the Rice Owls, and since he had already graduated (with a degree in mathematical economics) he was allowed to transfer to any school and play right away. Being from Austin, Texas, it was a no brainer decision to come home and play for the Longhorns.

Picking up a new offensive scheme would be child’s play for a man who can solve a Rubik's cube in 20 seconds. Plus as a left tackle there are few nuances to the position from one team to another unless you come from a spread scheme. He did not.

Watching Anderson on tape you can see four things immediately.

  1. He has very good movement skills for a big man.
  2. He has a short kick slide so LT in the NFL ain’t gonna happen.
  3. He lacks power and needs some development in the weight room.
  4. He has very good size with broad shoulders so weight training should not be a problem.

You can see on this first clip the plus movement skills. This is a combo block as he is going to double team the DT and slide off to attack the backside ILB who is wanting to fill the hole.

The shuttle pass is too quick and doesn’t allow the LB to float outside so the play is a bust. Yet you can see the plus movement skills He assists the guard with the tackle and cuts off the backside ILB from the play. The interior line blocking was poor and got no movement. The fake option action didn’t fool anyone, but Anderson did his job.

In the passing game Anderson has a limited slide step which makes it hard for him to protect the edge. In this GIF watch how little ground he is able to cover in each step. This is not a premium pass rusher he is going against plus the DE gets a slow start.

You can see that Anderson has to do all he can the protect against the DE going around him. Finally he has to bend at the waist and push him wider to keep him off his QB. There are some drills and technical aspects of his slide step that can help but not enough to allow him to play the LT position in the NFL. A good o-line coach might be able to use him in the RT position after working with him, but even that may be a stretch.

In the last GIF the DE was lined up well off the shoulder of Anderson in a wide 7 or 9 position. You can see that when the player is directly in front of Anderson he can square the defender up and make a more forceful block.

This is why it may behoove Anderson to switch to the RT or guard position in the NFL. He should be somewhere his deficiencies would not be as acute. He will need to increase his power, but he has enough lateral movement skills to where he can be effective and maybe become a standout performer.

Here you can see some of the movement skills to make a combo block by coming hard off the snap to create a quick double team then peel off to root the linebacker (forcefully) out of the hole.

This type of movement shows the Anderson can be effective in any scheme including zone blocking techniques. He is a really nice kid but needs to show a little more nasty in his play, kind of like what we saw here at the end.

This shows some good and bad technique on this run play (but mostly good). He is going to step inside the shoulder of the defensive lineman at the snap to get the correct angle for the block. He also stays low to increase his leverage to drive block is man out of the play.

He starts out really well but ends up standing too tall and wrestling with his man. He just has to practice staying low for the drive block. Once he gets good position and is moving his player there is no need to grapple. When he develops more power this will become an easier technique and a much more forceful block.

Again in this GIF if the defender does not quickly attack the left shoulder of Anderson. If so he could stay in sync with the rusher for an extended period of time. Just like the mirror drill at the Combine the DE tries to outmaneuver Anderson, but his quick feet are more than able to keep the DE away from the QB.

Basically power and a more proficient slid step are what will keep Anderson from being a OT in the NFL. There are drills to help increase your dexterity, but Anderson was recently released from the Patriots (prior to the Jets picking him up). If Dante Scarnecchia (Patriots offensive line coach) can’t fix his wrongs I have a feeling they cannot be fixed. But he could switch to another position.

This last GIF is another combo block that gives you a good view of the action. Being the LT, if Anderson can free the RB from edge pressure he should have a positive gain. First he must execute a down block double team on the DT then quickly move to cut off the pursuing ILB.

Once he realizes the DT is under control his job is to cut off pursuit, and he does just that. A man with these movement skills has a chance to be a better than average player in the NFL. This play was successful for a 10 yard gain and a first down.

Like I pointed out I think Anderson has a chance to make it in the NFL but will need to add power, learn a new position, and add some sand in his pants (additional good weight). This will not happen overnight even though he is a very smart individual. His future will be tied to how hard he works and how well he picks up his new responsibilities.

My guess is that Anderson will have to show something early in camp and OTA’s to make it to the final cuts. If he happens to do so he may be asked to join the practice squad where he can work on his technique while spending an inordinate amount of time with the strength coach. Depending on how the Jets’ season goes and the injuries that occur he could be a late in the year call all up if he does well.

This is a smart likable kid, and I wish him well in his dream the be an NFL player.

What do you think?