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2015 NFL Draft Results: Grading the Stephone Anthony Pick

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With the second of two first round picks, the Saints have selected Stephone Anthony. How do you grade the pick?

Trevor Ruszkowski-USA TODAY Sports

With the 31st overall selection in the 2015 NFL Draft, the New Orleans Saints have selected Clemson inside linebacker, Stephone Anthony.

Here's a look at the newest Saint from NFL.com:

STRENGTHS

Has desired build for position. Good play speed and is generally under control. Steady, consistent tackler when he's squared up. Has speed to chase to the sidelines and finish the play. Able to cover tight ends in passing game. Breaks to ball quickly against pass. Flashes ball skills and will play through pass-catchers. Features traits to be a more effective blitzer if called upon. Will compete through whistle and is physical against skill-position players. Lost job as junior and regained starting position with hard work and good attitude. Can cover ground laterally.

WEAKNESSES

Below average take-on skills. Plays with poor leverage when taking on blocks. Needs to improve hand usage and utilize better arm extension to keep blockers off him. Has tendency to side-step blocks and open run lanes. Can be mismatched by running backs down the field in passing game. Slow to process and recover against play-action. There are times he gets downhill without diagnosing first, creating bad angles to the ball against outside runs.

BOTTOM LINE

Anthony showed off his athleticism this post season and now the question becomes whether he can play fast all the time as a pro. He tries to get downhill and make plays, but more often it feels like he's guessing rather than instinctive. If he can play with more control and play to his traits, he'll be a starting linebacker in the league.

What do you think Who Dat Nation?  Do you love, like, or loathe this selection?  Give us your take in our poll, and leave us your insight and opinions below!

Saints Draft Picks

  • 13th Overall (Round 1) - Andrus Peat, OT, Stanford
  • 31st Overall (Round 1) - Stephone Anthony, ILB, Clemson
  • 44th Overall (Round 2)
  • 75th Overall (Round 3)
  • 78th Overall (Round 3)
  • 148th Overall (Round 5)
  • 154th Overall (Round 5)
  • 187th Overall (Round 6)
  • 230th Overall (Round 7)

Saints Remaining Team Needs

  • Cornerback
  • Inside Linebacker
  • Outside Linebacker
  • Wide Receiver
  • Offensive Tackle
  • Quarterback of the future