The Texas A&M Aggies always seem to do a good job recruiting, but the talent development on the college stage doesn’t always match up to other programs. Thus, high-upside prospects often leave College Station with untapped upside for NFL teams to try and unlock. Such is the case with Texas A&M linebacker Anthony Hines III, an NFL Draft prospect with undeniable upside, but also undeniable uncertainty.
Anthony Hines NFL Draft Profile
- Height: 6’2 1/4″
- Weight: 225 pounds
- Position: Linebacker
- School: Texas A&M
- Current Year: Redshirt Junior
Tony Pauline’s Anthony Hines Scouting Report
Positives: Athletic pursuit linebacker who must get bigger and stronger. Effectively reads and diagnoses the action, takes proper angles to the play, and possesses a closing burst of speed. Sells out upfield against the run, moves well laterally, and covers a good amount of area. Gets depth on pass drops, smoothly transitions to run with opponents in coverage, and stays with tight ends in coverage.
Negatives: Possesses a thin build and shows no playing strength. Consistently caught up in the wash and slowed by blocks.
Analysis: Hines is an athletic linebacker who makes a lot of plays in space, but he struggles taking on blocks and getting through the trash. He needs a free shot at the ball, but his athleticism, range, and ability in coverage will make him an attractive Day 3 prospect.
Anthony Hines Player Profile
Anthony Hines has long had the physical makeup to compete in the NFL. Even dating back to high school, his physical traits generated allure among high-level college football programs.
It’s always simply been a matter of development with the Texas A&M linebacker. Hines was a four-star recruit on ESPN’s board in the 2017 recruiting class. On some platforms, in fact, he was a five-star recruit.
On ESPN’s board, Hines was ranked as the 67th overall player in the class. He graded out as the top-rated inside linebacker recruit, and also earned a spot as a Top 15 player in the state of Texas.
With a 4.67 40-yard dash and a 30.5-inch vertical at 6-foot-3, 222 pounds, Hines’ athletic profile garnered shocking amounts of interest. Almost 100 schools offered Hines a scholarship opportunity, with programs like Clemson, Alabama, Ohio State, Oklahoma, and Georgia among the suitors. Nevertheless, Hines chose to remain in-state, signing with the Aggies of Texas A&M.
Anthony Hines’ career as a Texas A&M linebacker
Anthony Hines’ talent demanded that he saw the field quickly after arriving on Texas A&M’s campus. The Texas A&M linebacker played in 13 games as a true freshman, amassing 33 total tackles, 6.0 tackles for loss, 3.0 sacks, a forced fumble, and a fumble recovery. He was named to the Freshman All-SEC team. The excitement consequently grew for his true sophomore season.
Hines was ready to be an impact starter in 2018. However, his campaign was unfortunately cut short by a season-ending knee injury. Having played just one game, Hines had time to rest and rehab, and he returned as a starter in 2019. That season, Hines’ impact in the box was again made clear. He registered 73 total tackles and 10.5 tackles for loss in 13 starts.
2020 was supposed to be a chance for Hines to keep growing as a three-down player. Unfortunately, given the circumstances during the 2020 season, that would not be the case. Citing the loss of a family member, Anthony Hines opted out of the 2020 season and later declared for the 2021 NFL Draft.
Anthony Hines’ best fits in the 2021 NFL Draft
Anthony Hines is a very intriguing linebacker prospect. The lack of recent tape will likely hurt his standing in a linebacker class that has many recent risers. However, Hines has the athletic makeup and the pedigree to warrant consideration as a high-upside sleeper on Day 3.
With 16.5 tackles for loss over his two years of performance, Hines’ combination of size and explosiveness has proven effective. Furthermore, his lack of ball production in coverage is somewhat misleading. He can be more proactive, but he still shows flashes of the necessary traits in coverage on occasion and definite physical upside.
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Still, Hines can stand to add more density to his frame. Additionally, as enticing as his upside is, he needs definite polish. He only had one full season as a starter in college and is coming off an opt-out year.
There’s no clear trend of development for Hines coming into the NFL, so it’s unclear what his projection is. Furthermore, how quickly can he be expected to take on an increased role?
Which teams might especially covet Anthony Hines in his draft range?
In spite of his need for refinement, Hines offers a nice buy-low proposition for teams in need of linebacker depth and long-term potential on Day 3. Where he goes on Day 3 is up for debate. If a team likes him enough, they could swipe him earlier than expected.
His opt-out, however, combined with his statistical underachievement in the SEC, could bump him into the later rounds. Hines did well enough at his pro day, logging a 4.65 40-yard dash, a 33-inch vertical, and a 118-inch broad jump. Regardless, as of now, he’s a bit buried either way.
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Still, teams like the Washington Football Team, Green Bay Packers, Detroit Lions, New Orleans Saints, and the Philadelphia Eagles could have use for Hines, who has potential three-down traits with some refinement. He has the skill set to be a 4-3 outside linebacker or a 3-4 inside linebacker.
Additionally, if he can effectively develop, he could have the desired versatility to rush the passer and disguise intentions. There’s not enough refinement there right now, but Hines is a good investment to make later on.
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