Stephone Anthony LB Clemson


If youíre looking for a size/speed linebacker, you should be looking straight at Stephone. If youíre looking for a linebacker who can be your leader on the field you should also be looking right at Stephone. He has excellent size and athletic talent. Also, he was the defensive quarterback of the Clemson defense making sure everyone was in the right place and making the calls on the field for the coaches. He has those long arms and legs and, along with his speed and change of direction skills, he is one of the best cover linebackers in this draft. He can rush the passer from the inside or outside, on the line or off the line and that makes him one of the better pure linebackers in this draft -- one that can play any of the linebacker positions in any style of defense.

With all of this talent, skill and experience, Stephone is not a dominant player for his team. In his defense that may be because the coaches ask too much of him mentally and he is thinking way too much to be able to react to what he sees. Most of the time on film I see Stephone so involved with calling the signals and making sure his teammates are lined up correctly that at the snap of the ball he is out of place or just not set to make plays. Stephone is not strong against the run and his shed and block techniques need a lot of work but playing on the outside he is stout enough and will make more plays given the time.

When you watch this kid play, he is jumping around, moving defensive linemen into correct gaps jumping back to his position and then jumping back to move another lineman. The truth is he gives me a headache watching him! I sit there in frustration watching the film and screaming at the coaches to let this kid play. Get the damn calls in quicker so this kid can get set and play. I donít know why these coaches canít get the calls in in a timely fashion, but in spite of that, this defense is very good and as far as I can tell the real reason is because of Stephone and not because of his more heralded teammate. Stephone is big enough to play inside, but I think it will take him more time to impact at an inside position. As an outside linebacker, he can be used more in coverage or attacking the line of scrimmage which is where he is at his best. Stephone is a sleeper player in this draft. He is hiding right in plain sight in a big program and that to me is the true definition of a sleeper, not a player who stands out in a smaller program. Unleash this kidís talent and I think you will have an impact linebacker who you can use to build your defense around. I would not be surprised if he is selected by one of the playoff teams in the 1st Rd, but I suspect he will fall into the 2nd round; youíll have to look at Robís board to know for sure.

Drew Boylhart