After an outstanding week down in Mobile, Iowa football player Anthony Nelson turned in a solid, yet unspectacular 2019 Senior Bowl performance Saturday.
Saturday’s Senior Bowl in Mobile, Alabama was the conclusion of the top postseason all-star event of the 2018-2019 college football season. As we have said throughout the week, this week is a fantastic opportunity for guys like the Iowa football team’s Anthony Nelson to improve upon their draft stock.
Coming into this week, the defensive end from the Iowa football team was thought to have a high floor, but a relatively low ceiling. At 6’6”, 270 pounds Nelson has proven to be an adept pass rusher when using power rush moves, but has limited bend and burst, which is a large reason why his ceiling is lower than some of the other day one and day two guys.
That being said, Nelson has shown that he can be strong at the point of attack, stout in run defense, and can use his size to drive tackles back.
In Mobile, he took advantage of his chance to further strengthen scouts impressions of what he can offer to a NFL team.
On Saturday afternoon in that actual Senior Bowl game, he utilized strong power-rush skills to drive his opposing offensive tackle back consistently, but was ultimately overshadowed by the play of TCU’s LJ Collier who seemed to just be a hair quicker than Nelson throughout the game.
With so many guys to play, it can be difficult to get each guy optimal amounts of playing time, and Nelson fell victim to this throughout the game. By my count, Nelson played in three series over the course of the second half and primarily went against tackle Andre Dillard from Washington State and tackle Oli Udoh from Elon.
Dillard, a potential day one draft pick according to draft analyst Daniel Jeremiah, had an uneven performance against Nelson. The Iowa football standout consistently drove back the 6’5”, 306 pound Dillard notching a tackle and an (unrecorded) strip-sack of Jarrett Stidham. Unfortunately, the credit for this sack and forced fumble went to Collier, but the tape doesn’t lie; Nelson reached the quarterback at the same time and ultimately caused the fumble.
When Buffalo’s Tyree Jackson entered the game, Nelson continued his assault even when the South team switched out Dillard with Udoh. The Waukee, Iowa native consistently put pressure on Nelson and had one quarterback hit in his series against Jackson, and he should have drawn a holding penalty on Udoh on another play.
Despite the limited playing time and being overshadowed by LJ Collier, Nelson finished the week strong, and he can use this game as a driving force in increasing his stock heading into the NFL Combine, which Nelson will likely be invited to.