Round 3, pick 99: Anthony Nelson, DE Iowa
The Seahawks still need to add a pass rusher to this defense. Thankfully, this draft class is loaded on the defensive line. No one may be quite as interesting as Anthony Nelson for the Iowa Hawkeyes.
At 6’7″, he was a bit underweight at 271 pounds. He has mammoth arms, with 35-inch arms and an 83-inch wingspan, both ranking in the 92nd percentile or better in both areas. Aside from his long arms, he posted a 4.82 forty yard dash in the 74th percentile. His 35″ vertical, 118″ broad jump, 6.95 3-cone drills, and 4.23 20-yard shuttle all rank as exceptional for his position.
However, he ranked in the 7th percentile with his 18 bench reps and has small hands. But when you put on the film, the positives flash and the negatives aren’t really present on film. He uses his long arms to create leverage and keep offensive lineman off his body.
He plays with a high motor and uses his athleticism to get to the quarterback. He has an explosive get off and can blow by bigger tackles. He will need to get stronger and develop better counter moves to become an every-down end. This is where his small hands and low bench press numbers come into play.
Nelson will need to spend a year getting stronger, but should still be a solid compliment to Jacob Martin, Frank Clark, and Rasheem Green. While the Seahawks should still add another edge rusher to pair with Clark on an “every down” basis, Nelson will be in contention for high rep usage early in the season.
Clint Hurtt took Jacob Martin from toolsy project to NFL contributor in the course of one season. Giving him another prospect with better tools than Martin could give Seattle a nice mix at the other edge, opposite of Clark.