The former Toledo Rocket’s testing was off the charts, highlighted by a 4.36 40 at 6-2 209. In addition to elite athletic ability, he has two other things the Bengals love: Intelligence and versatility.
The 2017 St. John’s Jesuit High School valedictorian played all over the Toledo secondary and extensively on special teams.
Let’s take a look at what he brings to Cincinnati.
Anderson is lined up on the 49-yard-line near the middle of the Toledo Rockets logo.
In this clip, the receiver releases inside and starts to run vertically up the hash. Anderson matches up, but the receiver cuts underneath him to the post. Anderson turns away from the receiver, whipping his hips around and accelerating to match up with the receiver again. This is either called a bicycle or a speed turn, depending on who you ask. No matter what you call it, Anderson executes it perfectly, showcasing his speed and fluid hips.
Anderson is #1, lined up over the innermost receiver on the trips side of the formation.
On the snap, Anderson steps forward, looking to jam and disrupt the release of the receiver. This backfires as the receiver freely releases to the inside and runs a drag route. Anderson shows excellent speed running across the formation and getting underneath the route. No one is perfect in coverage, but Anderson has the athletic ability to make up for mistakes.
Anderson is #1, lined up in the middle of the field on the 32-yard line at the snap.
Speaking of speed, check out Anderson in this clip.
He is in the middle of the field, but when the ball is thrown to the running back on the shoot route in the flat, Anderson gets there in a hurry to make the tackle.
Anderson is #1, standing up on the near edge.
Of course, the Bengals play in the AFC North, a division where their biggest rivals are currently the Browns and the team formerly known as the Browns, in no particular order. So every player on the defense needs to be able to play the run.
In this clip, the offensive runs the ball away from Anderson. As the cutback player, he slides down the line of scrimmage and makes the tackle for a short game. This was an excellent play.
This play demonstrates not only his tackling ability, but his understanding of his role within the defensive scheme and how he needs to fit against the run.
Anderson is lined up at linebacker depth to the top of the tackle box.
In this clip, Anderson steps down, honoring the play-action, but he keeps his eyes up. As the quarterback takes off running, Anderson disengages from the block, and with a great burst, gets to the ball-carrier to make the tackle.
This was a fantastic play.
Anderson is an excellent overall player, with the speed and intelligence to become an important part of this team on both defense and special teams. Expect him to make the team and see a lot of action on kick coverage units as a rookie.