Position: Edge rusher
College: University of Utah
Weight: 257 lbs.
Overview: Bradlee Anae is a technician of a pass rusher, who has a very refined variety of pass rush moves in his arsenal. Although he is an average athlete at the edge position, he wins with his advanced hand technique and unwavering effort. He projects as an eventual starting-caliber 3-4 pass-rushing outside linebacker.
Active Hand Usage:
One of the things that I love most about Anae is that he never stops moving his hands. Far too often while I am scouting edge prospects, the player will stop trying to disengage his blocks and just remain stagnant. That almost never happened for Anae. Even if he got beat with his initial move, his hands remain active and would never stop trying to disengage from his block. It seems like such a simple trait, but very few edge prospects display this trait. Overall, I just love the relentless effort that Anae shows on a rep-to-rep basis to disengage from his blocks.
The Repertoire of Pass Rush Moves
Anae has a really nice variety of refined pass rush moves in his arsenal. Chop, cross chop, bull rush, long arm, swipe and rip, speed rush, push-pull. You name it and most likely Anae can do it. He has also shown the ability to convert his speed into power when impacting opposing tackles. However, his best moves are any of his chop variations and his push-pull move.
For his chop move, he has a lot of different variations (as shown in the Tweet above). However, utilization is the same. With Anae’s chop, he eliminates the hands of the offensive tackle and prevents them from being able to engage his own torso. If the tackle can’t touch Anae, they can’t block him. It’s pretty impressive how consistently and effective Anae is able to land his chop moves.
Anae’s other go-to move is his push-pull move. With this move, he is using the tackle’s momentum to his advantage. The effectiveness of the push-pull move is dependent on hand placement. You have to place your hands on the inside shoulders if you want to control their momentum. Anae is consistently able to strike the inside shoulders of opposing linemen and with that placement, he has the upper body strength to move them out of his way.
Pass Rush Plan/Counter Moves
Bradlee Anae knows when to employ different pass rush moves and shows some ability to string moves together. Anae’s pass rushes are calculated and intentional. He often uses moves to set up counter moves in subsequent plays. In fact, he has consistently shown an inside counter move, such as his cross chop or spin move, after using a speed rush to the outside on the previous rep. Anae has a keen awareness of when tackles are oversetting the outside and he will always make them pay for it. His variety of pass rush moves in addition to his counter moves make him an unpredictable nightmare to block.
The statistics speak for itself. He has had 3 consecutive double-digit tackles for loss seasons and 3 seasons with +7 sacks. His 13 sacks this past season was 8th most in college football this year. Anae is one of the most productive edge prospects in this 2020 class.
This kind of aligns with the active hands’ section, but Bradlee Anae really just doesn’t take plays off. He plays at 110% all game and has some nastiness to his game. You can see the fire and enthusiasm after he gets sacks or tackles. Just by watching his film, you can tell that this a player that loves the game of football.
Anae struggles with making tackles out in space. He is a very average athlete at the edge position and looks stiff/clunky when trying to change directions laterally. He often becomes a victim to more nimble ball carriers and is easily susceptible to getting his “ankles broken”. His long speed is also incredibly slow when chasing down ball carriers sideline to sideline. Even with a good angle, he is often outrun by ball carriers. He will struggle in the NFL when teams isolate him on the edge and attack him with read-option plays.
Bradlee Anae measured in with 31 7/8 inches for arm length, which is in the 4th percentile for edge defenders. While this lack of length doesn’t really show up as a problem on his college tape, it could become an issue in the NFL, where all the players are bigger, faster, and have longer arms.
Bradlee Anae’s explosiveness from his stance is pretty dull. He doesn’t show great burst with his first steps off the line in comparison to his peers. He compensates for this lack of explosiveness with his quick ball get off and timing the snap count. Although he did show improvements in his speed rush and bend in his senior season, I’m skeptical that this will be as effective in the league.
Comparison: Ryan Kerrigan-Lite
Draft Grade (Value): Early 2nd
Potential Landing Spots: Seattle Seahawks, Baltimore Ravens, Tennessee Titans, New England Patriots
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