Indianapolis Colts: Expectations for Henry Anderson


After selecting WR Phillip Dorsett and CB D’Joun Smith with their first two picks the Indianapolis Colts selected interior lineman Henry Anderson with the 93rd overall pick of the 2015 NFL draft.

Anderson is one of several players from Stanford University selected by the Indianapolis Colts, along with fellow-defensive lineman David Parry, who was picked by the Colts two rounds later with the 151st overall pick.

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The 6’6″, 294-pounder played college football since 2011 and became a starter the following season. As a junior in 2012 ha racked up 50 tackles (27 solo), 16 tackles for loss, six sacks and five pass breakups and was named second-team All-Pac-12. After a knee injury that allowed him to play just eight games in 2013 he came back stronger than ever in 2014 and his team-leading 15 tackles for loss and 8.5 sacks earned him a first-team All-Pac-12 mention.

Anderson is a relentless force in the trenches both against the run and in pass rush. He’s surprisingly agile for a man his size and has a very good skill set of pass-rushing moves to go along with excellent hand technique that will allow him to win against NFL-caliber offensive linemen. Even if he can’t get to the quarterback (or the ball carrier) he is a disruptive player in the middle and will create opportunities for his teammates to make a play whenever he fails to do so.

The Indianapolis Colts needed some help on the defensive line badly and after passing on Malcom Brown in the first round they almost had to pick Anderson when he fell into their lap.

The guys at Pro Football Focus gave high praise to the Colts’ selection of Anderson:

So…why did he fall to the third round, you may ask? Well, basically for two reasons: because he lacks the scheme-versatility of the other 5-technique prospects (like Leonard Williams for example) and because he didn’t particularly help his draft stock at the combine with a so-so performance.

Despite all that he might really end up as a huge steal for the Colts and we will have a chance to see if that’s true from day one. Anderson will likely start right away and will replace veteran Cory Redding who joined the Arizona Cardinals earlier this year after a two-year stint with the Colts.

Much like Redding, Anderson will provide a good amount of interior pressure against opposing quarterbacks but the Colts hope the rookie will be effective as well in run defense, something that Redding struggled mightily with last year.

According to College Football Focus Anderson was the 4th-best interior defender against the run in 2014 with 37 stops (i.e. tackles that prevent an offensive success) on 281 run snaps. He graded out even better as a pass rusher (2nd-best, behind ULL’s Christian Ringo) 57 total pressures on 373 pass rush snaps.

Early Prediction

If Anderson will indeed be a starter he can realistically get 5-6 sacks in his rookie campaign, along with 30-35 tackles. That might not seem like much but I believe the Colts’ coaching staff will be satisfied with that, especially if Anderson proves to be an improvement over Redding in run defense.

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