Offensive line is one of the few positions that carries value in every round. In the trenches, there’s contact on every single play, and chaos is at its most present state at the center. Whether you need depth or starting ability, you need it on the offensive line. Does Texas Tech offensive guard Jack Anderson bring enough of those qualities to be an NFL Draft pick?
Jack Anderson NFL Draft Profile & Senior Bowl Measurements
- Position: Guard
- School: Texas Tech
- Current Year: Redshirt Junior
- Height: 6’4 3/4″
- Weight: 309 pounds
- Wingspan: 77 1/2″
- Arm: 31 5/8″
- Hand: 10″
Jack Anderson could have gone to a powerhouse. A four-star prospect in the 2017 recruiting class, Anderson was the fourth-best guard in the nation and rated as the 52nd overall recruit on ESPN’s board. He had offers from dozens of schools, among them LSU, Oklahoma, Texas, Georgia, and Auburn. He could have gone to school within a half-hour of his hometown by signing with TCU.
Nevertheless, Anderson craved an early starting opportunity. Some of the blue-chip programs couldn’t promise that to the 6-foot-5, 302-pound behemoth. But Texas Tech could. And the Red Raiders, coached by Kliff Kingsbury, also offered Anderson a chance to play in a high-octane offense in the Big 12. Anderson signed with Texas Tech early and remained committed to them until his enrollment.
Jack Anderson’s career as a Texas Tech offensive guard
Anderson came to Lubbock as one of the highest-rated signings in Texas Tech football history. He kicked off his career with a worthy true freshman season. Anderson slotted in at right guard and started all 13 games for the Red Raiders. In the process, he earned freshman All-American honors, becoming the first Texas Tech offensive lineman to accomplish such a feat since Le’Raven Clark in 2012.
Anderson carried that starting job into the 2018 season and built on his early momentum. The true sophomore again started every game and was recognized as a second-team All-Big 12 selection at the end of his campaign. He was expected to be a standout blocker in the conference once again in 2019, but unforeseen circumstances delayed his ascension.
Anderson’s final two seasons with the Red Raiders
Anderson started the first three games of the 2019 season. However, in the third game, the Texas Tech guard suffered a season-ending shoulder injury. Anderson needed surgery for the injury. Subsequently, the team chose to redshirt him, to maintain his eligibility for the coming two seasons. The Texas Tech guard worked toward rehabbing, earning All-Big 12 academic honors in the process, then came back with an emphasis in 2020.
Anderson returned for the start of the 2020 campaign and proceeded to start all ten games for the Red Raiders. The standout offensive lineman served as the team’s best blocker and earned the title of captain from his teammates. At the end of the season, he was crowned as a first-team All-Big 12 honoree, among other top prospects like Creed Humphrey, Samuel Cosmi, and Teven Jenkins.
After the season ended, Anderson announced his decision to enter the 2021 NFL Draft and forgo his remaining year of eligibility. As a redshirt junior, he was also able to earn an invite to the Reese’s Senior Bowl, which he accepted.
Analyzing Jack Anderson’s NFL Draft profile
Standing at 6-foot-5, 315 pounds, Anderson has a large, stout frame. It’s clear on tape that this frame also packs a good amount of power. With full extensions, Anderson can generate movement. In close quarters, he has the play strength to maintain an anchor and win one-on-one battles.
Anderson also moves fairly well for his size. He’s not an elite athlete, but he has a solid mix of lateral movement ability, balance, and urgency when moving to the second level. The Texas Tech guard has the balance against contact to keep his feet under him when powerful players attempt to gain penetration. He also has enough get-off quickness to seal off lanes from surging linemen.
Anderson has a well-rounded, if unspectacular, physical skill set. He blends this together with his experience. Anderson started 38 games over the course of his college career. That experience lent Anderson time to refine his pass set and his hand technique. He’s still developing in that area. His base is very solid though, and he deals with counters with some proficiency.
What are the concerns with Jack Anderson?
While Anderson is a solid prospect, I don’t know if he has an elite trait. He is lacking a couple key components, physically.
His length, while decent, isn’t top-tier. Although interior play mitigates that to an extent, it does show up as an issue against longer, more explosive linemen. Anderson himself brings decent explosiveness for his size. However, he has to rely on natural power more often because of his length.
Additionally, while Anderson plays with good balance, he can be a little stiff. He also lacks elite recovery athleticism, and he lunges for blocks on occasion. In those instances, he doesn’t always get solid contact, nor does he have the ability to get back into the play after losing his balance. As much experience as he has against counters, his recovery athleticism can affect his ability to maintain consistency at the NFL level in that area.
Jack Anderson’s best fits in the 2021 NFL Draft
The Texas Tech Red Raiders will miss Jack Anderson, and with good reason. He was one of their best players for the better part of four years. That career has earned him some notoriety as a 2021 NFL Draft prospect.
Anderson is certainly worthy of a selection. Now, the only question left is where. Anderson isn’t a spectacular prospect, but he gets the job done in a lot of areas. He has enough upside to be a potential starter in the NFL. His solid natural power enables him to move players in downhill running schemes. In addition, he’s mobile enough to be scheme versatile.
Which teams might be interested in Anderson?
For now, Anderson is a solid early-to-mid Day 3 pick. He could also ascend into the Round 3 conversation with a solid showing at the Senior Bowl. Anderson’s lack of positional versatility may limit his appeal in that range, at least compared to other players. Nevertheless, Anderson has the experience and starting upside at right guard to be a candidate for teams seeking out interior help.
From Round 4 to Round 6, teams like the Los Angeles Rams, Cincinnati Bengals, Kansas City Chiefs, and Philadelphia Eagles could be in the market for the Texas Tech guard. Kliff Kingsbury, who now leads the Arizona Cardinals, may also have an interest in drafting a familiar player at a position of need.
Anderson has some security with his skill set. He’s a solid blocker who should have a long career, regardless of his role. He brings depth and spot-starting ability right away. He also has enough physical talent to be a solid starter down the road. Players who can fill both roles always have a place in an ever-chaotic NFL.