In Round 7 of the NFL Draft, the Buffalo Bills used the 236th overall pick to select Texas Tech offensive lineman Jack Anderson. The former 4-star recruit, rated as the 4th best guard in the nation, Anderson was not short on offers from national blue blood programs such as LSU, Oklahoma, and Georgia. But Anderson kept in step with much of his family (father, uncle and sister all graduated from Texas Tech) and signed to play with Kliff Kingsbury in Lubbock.
Anderson will undoubtedly go down as one of the best offensive lineman in Texas Tech history. Even with missing most of the 2019 season due to injury, Anderson’s accolades include an All-Big 12 second team honoree as a sophomore as well as a Freshman All-American by both ESPN and USA Today as a true freshman in 2017. The 6’5” 315 lbs standout capped his career in 2020 with an All-Big12 first team honoree.
What Jack Anderson bring to the Buffalo Bills
Anderson’s full NFL scouting report projects him as a back-up in the NFL, if he can make the NFL roster. On average, players taken in the 6th or 7th round of the NFL draft only make the roster about 30% of the time. Some skills Anderson can bring to the Bills are his quick feet, the ability to seek additional work in pass protection when uncovered, and “has no problems with mixing it up and brawling.” This last attribute is something that is drawing comparisons to a former Bills offensive lineman, Richie Icognito. He is already being referred to as “Little Richie.”
Anderson’s versatility will also give him a good chance to make the roster, as he can play any position on the offensive line. He even spent some time at Center when he was at the Senior Bowl in Mobile, AL back in January.
Areas Jack Anderson needs to improve
Much of the criticism with Anderson’s game is with his run blocking ability. After all, during his time at Texas Tech, the offense ran pass plays roughly 2/3rds of the time. Two of the items from his draft profile from NFL.com state, “Run-blocking footwork is random at times,” and “Wide first step will get him in trouble in run game”. So why would a wide first step be a problem? The real answer is it depends on scheme. Without diving too much into the weeds, a wide first step can put Anderson in poor position to block the defender. That can come in the form of simply trying to block the defender on the wrong side, or not having a proper base with his feet to drive into the defender to move him.
He doesn’t posses any elite athleticism, and that’s why it’s critical for Anderson’s technique and footwork to be sound. Multiple draft reports have complemented Anderson’s grit/will/attitude to finish plays, but at the same time, it’s also an indication that he hasn’t been able to elevate his game to a point where he has made some of his efforts appear natural/effortless. Anderson has shown the ability to play full seasons, but his shoulder injury that cost him most of the 2019 season certainly doesn’t bode well for long-term health at his position.
The initial reports, as is the case with many 7th round draft picks, don’t have Jack Anderson making the final 53-man roster for the Bills. He is projected right now to make the practice squad, but still has work to do. Texas Tech fans hope they can join the Bills Mafia with the hope of rooting on one of the greatest lineman to dawn a Red Raider uniform.