Insider: Saints Interest In Clemson LB Anthony Is Growing


The New Orleans Saints have long been known for bringing in free agents to stockpile their linebacking corps with immediate impact players and whiffing on most in the draft.

The misses they’ve had in the draft are due to either selecting a player too high that didn’t fit (Martez Wilson) or simply not having enough picks to select one in the higher rounds.

More from Big Easy Believer

Well with the current nine picks they have, with five in the first three rounds, the Saints should have no problem finding a linebacker that can contribute and start a new age amongst the group.

One of those prospects that they have started to show some serious interest in is former Clemson linebacker Stephone Anthony.

Early Friday morning Tony Pauline of posted on his Twitter page: also shows that the Saints visited with Anthony while he was at the Senior Bowl which is where other teams took notice of his ability as well.

Oct 25, 2014; Clemson, SC, USA; Clemson Tigers linebacker Stephone Anthony (42) sacks Syracuse Orange quarterback AJ Long (4) during the first quarter at Clemson Memorial Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Joshua S. Kelly-USA TODAY Sports

His fellow teammate, and likely top ten pick, Vic Beasley has garnered much of the attention leading up to the draft but Anthony’s buzz continues to build.

In three years at Clemson he has had 277 tackles, 28.5 for a loss, 6.5 sacks, and 3 interceptions.  Another stat that jumps out is that he has broken up 11 passes.

More from New Orleans Saints

These pass coverage skills is what got the attention of teams at the Senior Bowl along with his quickness and great performance in on-field drills.

Shortly after the Senior Bowl, NFL Network analyst Charles Davis raved over him and said he was the best inside LB prospect in this year’s class, better than Denzel Perryman and Bernardrick McKinney even.

While that may be up for debate, what’s not debatable is the fact that Anthony has probably seen the biggest rise up Draft boards league-wide of any college player at the moment.

At the NFL Combine, Anthony was the top performer within his position in the 40 yard dash and ran a 4.56.  At 6’3″ 243 lbs. that’s pretty stout.

And it’s exactly what the Saints need that they’ve been missing which is a pass covering linebacker who can also be a downhill thumper.

He’s also a great blitzer as well as a run defender; and he has the ability to close distances quickly and read and react to the offense’s play call.

Of course the Saints won’t likely use one of their two first round picks on Anthony, but if he’s still there with their second round pick(44th overall), they need to pull the trigger on him.

Anthony is projecting to be an every-down player at inside linebacker, and that fact alone should make him a top priority for the Saints on Draft weekend……

Next: Should Saints Bring In a Veteran WR Before Free-Agency Dies Down?