Our rookie scouting reports combine film and analytics to provide the best possible predictions for player performance. With the 2023 NFL Draft just around the corner, let’s take a look at the scouting report for Iowa State DE MJ Anderson.
MJ Anderson NFL Draft Profile
- Position: Defensive End
- School: Iowa State
- Year: Senior
Anderson was a three-star recruit out of Christian Brothers College High School in St. Louis, Missouri. He received a whole bunch of offers from Power Five schools before choosing to play college football at Minnesota.
Things didn’t exactly go as he envisioned at Minnesota. Anderson played just three snaps in his freshman year, earning redshirt status.
In his second collegiate season, it wasn’t much better. Anderson appeared in five games but played all of 65 snaps on the season, recording one tackle.
In 2021, Anderson played in 10 games and was considerably more involved defensively. However, he still managed just seven total tackles and one sack.
Clearly frustrated by his lack of playing time, Anderson left Minnesota after his junior year, transferring to Iowa State. As a senior, Anderson played in 12 games and recorded 37 total tackles, including nine for a loss, as well as 3.5 sacks.
Overall, Anderson finished his college career with 45 total tackles and 4.5 sacks.
Tony Pauline’s Scouting Report for MJ Anderson
Strengths: Minnesota transfer who flashed dominance over the past two seasons. Agile, quick, and explosive. Plays with outstanding pad level, fires off the snap with a terrific first step, and explodes through gaps to penetrate the line of scrimmage.
Keeps his feet and hands active, moves well laterally, and quickly locates the ball. Occasionally stands over tackle and breaks down well. Flows to the ball handler and wraps up tackling. Fights to get off blocks and plays through the whistle.
Weaknesses: Comes with average size and bulk and is easily out-positioned or blocked from the action. Lacks a large body of work. More of a first-step lineman.
Overall: Anderson has shown himself to be a game-wrecker who plays with great suddenness. He needs to get bigger and stronger, and more than anything else, he needs additional playing experience. Anderson is worth a late-round pick and has an upside.
MJ Anderson Combine Measurements and Results
- Height: 6’2 5/8″
- Weight: 269 pounds
- Arm Length: 33 3/4″
- Hand Size: 9 1/4″
- Bench Press: N/A
- 40-Yard Dash: 4.85-4.95 (pro day)
Iowa State DE MJ Anderson Current Draft Projection
On Tony Pauline’s Big Board, Anderson ranked 169th overall and is projected to be drafted in the fifth round. With a 3.42 grade, he is Pauline’s DE14 in this class.
Anderson has good size, but he didn’t run the 40 or participate in any of the athletic drills at the Combine. He did run the 40 at his pro day, but he’s been dealing with a hamstring issue since January. Thus, it’s difficult to gauge his performance. As a result, we don’t have a true analytical assessment of his athleticism — we just have to go based on the film.
MORE: 2023 NFL Draft Big Board
College production is the most predictive indicator of NFL success. Anderson’s production is minimal. Any NFL team drafting him is taking a shot on a project because Anderson simply doesn’t have much experience.
Even as a Day 3 pick, Anderson should be able to make an NFL roster. Whether he can emerge as a useful piece of an NFL defense is another story.
Ultimately, Anderson showed enough promise to warrant a real chance to produce for an NFL team. I fully expect him to be drafted and win a roster spot. If his athleticism is up to par, and he is able to learn and improve, he could be a rotational part of an NFL defense.
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