RSP Boiler Room No.23: TE/WR Stephen Anderson, Cal – Intangibles on Film

Stephen Anderson

Intangibles show up on film. Here’s an example of competitive effort from Cal hybrid Stephen Anderson

Intangibles are real things that we aren’t able to fully quantify in the present. That’s my view and I’m sticking with it.

Stephen Anderson exemplifies the intangible for me this year. Of all the players I’ve studied this far, he’s the player I’m least sure has a specific fit at a position.

At 230 pounds, Anderson is big enough to work the edge as a run blocker. He’s also rugged enough to earn yards off the backsides of defensive backs.

But he’s not going to win assignments against NFL linebackers and defensive ends at his current weight and he doesn’t outrun cornerbacks and safeties in the vertical game unless the conditions are ideal.

Jets TE Dustin Keller was a smaller tight end at Purdue who added the weight and managed to become a starter before injuries took its toll on his career. But weight and injury concerns were a constant risk. Keller was also a quicker, faster athlete than Anderson.

I’m still studying whether Anderson has what it physically takes to make the transition to the NFL. What I don’t have to ask myself is if he’ll give everything he has to the game. He’s a walk-on who earned a scholarship and developed his game to a point that his coaches believe he has worked himself into a professional opportunity.

This play below is a good example of that mentality on display.

It’s not Ben Watson running down Champ Bailey in the AFC Championship, but the intent and effort is there. This kind of effort matters and inspires on and off the field. Pair it with actual skill and athletic ability and you have something.

Here’s another courtesy of Rob Nelson:

Not an isolated behavior.

For analysis of skill players in this year’s draft class, download the 2016 Rookie Scouting Portfolio – early-bird purchase for April 1 download available now. Better yet, if you’re a fantasy owner the Post-Draft Add-on comes with the 2012 – 2015 RSPs at no additional charge. Best, yet, 10 percent of every sale is donated to Darkness to Light to combat sexual abuse. You can purchase past editions of the Rookie Scouting Portfolio for just $9.95 apiece.

3 responses to “RSP Boiler Room No.23: TE/WR Stephen Anderson, Cal – Intangibles on Film”

  1. He did something similar in the 2015 Armed Forces Bowl (33:29 mark):

    Goff fumbled at the Air Force 5 (which was later overturned), Air Force LB recovers, and Anderson tracks him down at midfield with no one else between the ball carrier and the end zone.

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