Nick Saban thinks former Alabama LB Ryan Anderson may switch positions when he gets to the NFL.
Anderson played outside linebacker for the Crimson Tide. He was a fairly talented pass rusher off the edge, amassing 19.0 career sacks, including 8.5 in 2016.
But at the Senior Bowl this week, Saban reportedly said Anderson’s future may be in the middle of the defense as an inside linebacker.
Most interesting thing to come of Saban's comments today: thinks Ryan Anderson has potential to play ILB in NFL. Career edge player at UA.
— Chase Goodbread (@ChaseGoodbread) January 24, 2017
Anderson is listed at 6-foot-2 and 253 pounds. As a result, he may be too small to be an elite pass rushing outside linebacker like Von Miller, Khalil Mack or Vic Beasley.
However, he has good speed to cover ground as an inside linebacker. Saban knows he can make plays in the backfield. He had 39.5 career tackles for loss at Alabama. Letting him play in the box and fill running lanes may be the best way to use him.
Anderson had 61 tackles, 31 unassisted, in 2016 as an edge player. And those numbers could skyrocket as an inside linebacker.
CBS Sports currently rates Anderson as the No. 6 outside linebacker in the 2017 draft and a likely second-round pick. He’s also ranked No. 7 among Alabama players in the draft.