NFL Week 10: Chicago Bears at St. Louis Rams-What to Watch
The Emergence of Jonathan Anderson
Nov 9, 2015; San Diego, CA, USA; San Diego Chargers running back Danny Woodhead (39) is brought down by Chicago Bears outside linebacker Jonathan Anderson (58) and inside linebacker Christian Jones (59) during the second quarter at Qualcomm Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Jake Roth-USA TODAY Sports
A former safety turned linebacker, Jonathan Anderson, is proving his worth. Ryan Pace has shown to have an eye for finding under appreciated talent (e.g. Cameron Meredith, Bryce Callahan, Khari Lee) and the rookie linebacker from TCU is the latest installment.
Leading the way with 11 total tackles against the Chargers, Anderson has shown that he has the make up to play the Jack linebacker position in Vic Fangio’s hybrid defense. Being a former defensive back, Anderson has the natural instincts and athleticism to stick with speedy slot receivers, but also possesses the frame to matchup against today’s modern NFL tight ends.
Where Anderson separates from his counterpart, Christian Jones, is in his ability to assist in the run game. According to Pro Football Focus, Jones has graded out at a meager 30.3 against the run. The rookie outplayed Jones in every aspect Monday night, and the six tackle differentiation shows it.
With it looking like Shea McClellin will be back in the starting lineup, Anderson could very well see himself earning ample snaps at the inside linebacker position.
Out of all of the UDFAs that General Manager Ryan Pace has brought in, Anderson may be the cream of the crop. Keep an eye out for him as he looks to elevate his game and continue to prove the college scouts wrong when the Bears take on the Rams this Sunday.
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