Jamaal Anderson   DE   Arkansas 

STRENGTHS 

Jamaal has the athletic talent, size, speed and strength to play his position.  In fact, the skills that make the NFL drool with anticipation of a future dominating DE.  He shows good strength to handle defending against the run along with a very good burst off the line to scare the bejesus out of any opposing QB.  He has those long arms that he can use to knock down passes when he doesnít get to the QB -- and he is a good tackler.  Jamaal could be the type of player that could make the players around him better.  Jamaal could be a franchise DE for the team that drafts him. 

 

NEEDS TO IMPROVE

Jamaal is not a very consistent player and until this year, it was hard to find him on the field when he played.  He has one pass-rushing move right now and that move is to out-quick his opponent off the snap.  If he is up against a good OT, he does not continue to fight if he is stopped from getting into the backfield off the snap.  Right now, Jamaal is just a much better athlete than the players heís played against in college.  He needs to improve in all phases of his game. 

 

TALENT BOARD ROUND: 1

There is no doubt that Jamaal is a player that is a first round player, but he has so much to learn that itís shocking.  He is a boom or bust pick with a buyer beware label right in the middle of his forehead.  The draft is about drafting potential impact players and Jamaal is a potential impact player; however, Iím not convinced that he has the work ethic to go along with that potential.  Here is the funny thing about JamaalÖI think that if youíre going to draft him, he should be drafted as high as possible because I think he will respond better to the pressure of being a very high pick in the draft more than if he is taken later in the 1st round.  This is a kid that seems to have a lot of pride.  I know this sounds crazy, but I believe that if Jamaal is taken in the top ten players of this draft, he will want to prove that he was worth it.  After the top ten players are picked and Jamaal is not one of them, then I would not pick him until the second round.  If he is selected in the 2nd round, you will hurt his pride and he play for you with a chip on his shoulder trying to prove everyone wrong for passing on him.  Anything else and you run the risk of this kid getting depressed and not living up to anyoneís expectations because he will think that no one really expects that much out of him.  Now, I know this will not happen, and trust me --  I know this sounds crazy.  Itís just that sometimes, to motivate kids to play beyond the million dollars that you are about to hand them, you need to understand what pushes their buttons.  Jamaal has a long road ahead of him at the next level in spite of his immense talent.  That road will require him to use mental strength that even he doesnít know he has right now.  That mental strength has to be tapped or this kid will fail big time.  I think the way to do that is to tap into this kidís pride.  This kid is going to need a lot of positive, but at the same time, truthful, coaching.  As a coach, if you try to blow smoke up this kidís hindquarters, he will lose respect for you, shutdown and not become the player that his talent suggests he can become.  Iím sorry, but this is what I see when this kid plays on the field.  What can I say?!  We have a player with enormous talent and a fragile psyche.  Gee, I wonder if heís the first one to ever have this combination?  NOT!

 

Drew Boylhart

January/2007