Henry Anderson: Prime Candidate For Defensive ‘ROY’

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Feb 20, 2015; Indianapolis, IN, USA; Stanford linebacker Henry Anderson speaks to the media at the 2015 NFL Combine at Lucas Oil Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Trevor Ruszkowski-USA TODAY Sports

Henry Anderson is the best of the Colts rookie draft class. By season’s end, he may be the best rookie in the NFL.

There were signs of Anderson’s potential as an impact player as early as the offseason OTA’s. Take a look at Gregg Doyel of the Indianapolis Star’s narrative while he was observing the defensive linemen during OTA’s:

"“Defensive linemen are now hitting the blocking sled, one at a time, and there’s a boom every time any of them hits the sled. But there’s a bigger noise, a bigger boom, when one of them in particular hits it. It’s like the way big-league baseball players hit the ball in batting practice. Most of them hit it with a crack. The sluggers hit it with a crack. Henry Anderson hits it with a crack.”"

When I traveled to the open-house minicamp in June, I saw the same thing; Anderson hit the blocking sled harder than anyone on every rep. As they rotated hits it always went boom, boom BOOM! He lays the boom with intensity.

If Anderson can continue to improve on his pass rush and start racking up the sack totals he will be a hands down favorite for defensive rookie of the year. Mel Kiper Jr. already has Anderson rated as his #5 rookie in his recent Top 20 Rookies article on ESPN.com. Anderson is fifth behind Marcus Peters – Chiefs, Marcus Mariota – Titans, Mitch Morse – Chiefs,  and Jameis Winston – Buccaneers.

Forgive me for tooting my own, but am proud to say I beat Mel Kiper to the punch on this one. During the Monday Night Football game against the Jets, I nominated him for Defensive Rookie of the Year:

As the season progresses, opposing QBs and RBs will have no choice but to start taking notice of where Henry Anderson is lined up if they want to avoid taking those shots. As Anderson improves this season so will the defense as a whole.

My prediction:

Henry Anderson is already an impact player on the Colts and will continue to emerge as a defensive star for Indianapolis. After he wins the AP’s Defensive Rookie of the Year, he will emerge as an NFL Star. As the legendary actor, Yule Brenner, said in Cecil B. DeMille’s Ten Commandments, “So let it be written… So let it be done.”

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