PFF scouting profile: Will Anthony, DE, Navy

Sam Monson and the PFF draft crew evaluate the draft prospects of Navy DE Will Anthony.

| 7 months ago
(J Pat Carter, Getty Images)

(J Pat Carter, Getty Images)

PFF scouting profile: Will Anthony, DE, Navy

Below is the PFF draft profile for Navy DE Will Anthony, which incorporates PFF’s college grades and scouting intel from our team of analysts. To see all of PFF’s 2016 scouting reports, click here.

Position fit:

Edge defender, likely 4-3 defensive end.

Stats to know:

Had fifth-highest grade in the nation among interior defenders and the ninth-most defensive run stops.

What he does best:

–Disrupts plays and causes havoc in the run game. As an undersized interior defender, playing largely 3-4 DE for Navy, Anthony was constantly destroying plays and actually had a higher run-defense grade (+29.7) than big-name players DeForest Buckner, Sheldon Rankins and A’Shawn Robinson among others.

–Plays every down (more or less). Played 90.3 percent of defensive snaps this past season, which is more than Buckner (85.5 percent), who had multiple 100-snap games to his name. Had multiple games where he did not miss a snap, and was at his most productive in those games. Won’t fade as the game goes on.

–One penalty in two full seasons of play.

–Plays bigger than he is. Watching tape blind, the guesses on his size at PFF were in the 6-foot-3, 260 range. As it turns out he’s significantly smaller than that (6-foot-1, 246 pounds), but it doesn’t show up on tape for a guy regularly going up against 300-pound linemen in the trenches.

Biggest concerns:

–Played 3-4 DE at 6-1, 246. Will project to the edge at the next level, but even then he’ll be undersized compared to players like new Giants DE Olivier Vernon, who has an inch in height and 22 pounds on him.

–Service Academy complications. Drafting players from Navy is very possible (the Patriots drafted long snapper Joe Cardona a year ago in the fifth round), but it complicates matters because they need either to get approval to have their service deferred, or make arrangements to serve part time and out of season. It isn’t anything that should stop a team from drafting a player, but it might cap how high Anthony gets drafted.

–Does he have the explosion to move outside? Size will dictate whether Anthony needs to move outside, but does he have the burst and explosion to be productive there? His pass-rush was good, but not as good as his run defense, and often relied more on working to the QB than it did winning with quickness early.

Bottom line:

Anthony has a lot working against him as a pro prospect. He played at Navy, and even now that they are in the AAC, that isn’t the highest level of competition in the world. Coming from a military academy also complicates matters because of his service commitments. As if that wasn’t enough, he played 3-4 defensive end for the Midshipmen at just 6-1 and 246.

Projecting him to the NFL is a tough task, but his production and improvement over the past two seasons is impressive, and he deserves a chance to play at the next level. He will have to kick out to the edge in the NFL, but he has the skills to be a very disruptive power end in the 4-3 scheme, and bring some pass rush to the table as well.

| Senior Analyst

Sam is a Senior Analyst at Pro Football Focus, as well as a contributor to ESPN.

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