- The Washington Times - Friday, April 28, 2017

With the No. 49 pick, the Redskins completed an Alabama double-dip by selecting outside linebacker Ryan Anderson in the second-round Friday night.

The Redskins had already selected defensive lineman Jonathan Allen in the first round on Thursday, with the No. 17 pick, Anderson’s college teammate with the Crimson Tide. Just as he did with Allen, Washington coach Jay Gruden made the call to deliver the news to Allen.

“I can’t explain it, man. That’s the first time I’ve had that call, that’s something I’ve dreamed about since I was a kid, man,” Anderson said.

Anderson, 6-foot-2 and 253 pounds, is a smart, sturdy player who knows how to use his hands and leverage to beat opponents he might not be able to with sheer physicality.

“He brings an attitude to this football team,” Gruden said. “I had a chance to talk to him in Tuscaloosa, spent a lot of time with him watching him play, talked to a couple of his teammates, obviously we drafted one yesterday. Nothing but high praise for him not only on the field but his leadership, and his tenacity.”

A unanimous All-SEC first team selection as a senior for the Crimson Tide, Anderson totaled 61 tackles, including a team-high 19.0 tackles for loss, 9.0 sacks and 10 quarterback hurries, four forced fumbles, three fumble recoveries and three pass breakups. Anderson thrived in Alabama’s 3-4, so playing outside linebacker in Washington’s base defense should come easily to him.

Anderson, though, doesn’t seem terribly worried about specifics.

“I’m a playmaker, man, I’m a game-changer,” Anderson said. “I’m a good teammate, I’m a good dude to have in the locker room. I’m the ultimate football player. I’m not a combine warrior, I’m not a workout warrior, I’m a football player.”

Anderson ran a 4.78 40-yard dash at the combine, which led to some doubts about his ability in coverage. He is more menacing than fluid. He had been seen by many evaluators as a potential first-round talent.

Accomplished with film more impressive than his measurables, Anderson is a player in the mold preferred by former general manager Scot McCloughan, who was quite fond of the phrase “football player” himself. Anderson has played for top-level teams his entire life, and missed only one practice in his entire time at Alabama.

“I’m working to set my own mold and break that mold,” he said. “I’m going to be the best outside linebacker in the game.


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