Colt Scout: Deon Anderson

Deon Anderson is a premier lead blocker, a tough runner and a sure-handed receiver. But when he took an unexplained year off from college and football, many teams wondered if he could be trusted. Are the Colts showing interest? Find out inside...

Deon Anderson
FB, Connecticut

The numbers: 5106/243/4.73

2006 stats: 23-78-0 rushing, 14-101-2 receiving, 5 tackles, 4 assists

The player: While Anderson won't carry the load as a runner or receiver, he was on of UConn's best players — when he played.

While he did have some rushing (114-420-1) and receiving (48-394-3) success as a Husky, he doesn't have the speed, agility, vision or balance to be anything but a short-yardage runner or dump-off receiver. Still, since he rarely goes down on the first hit and has naturally soft hands, he could come in handy as a surprise or emergency situational weapon.

Anderson's real value on offense is as a blocker. He's a master lead blocker, with a good feel for what's required of him, a knack for getting out where he has to be quickly and the ability to lay some truly violent hits. He's not quite as adept at pass-pro, but is much better than most backs, even pure fullbacks. Whenever Anderson missed games, their offense went from flying to crawling.

Even more important, though, is his ability as a special-teamer. Anderson is a very skilled tackler and has the ability to create turnovers, but is an even better wedge-buster. Even if he doesn't get to the ball-carrier, he still makes his presence known by tying up blockers.

Like many prospects the Colts like, Anderson is a hard worker who plays all-out from snap to whistle (even in practice) and will sacrifice his own well-being for an extra inch. He's an intelligent and personable young man who coaches like and who does well in school, but there are questions about his character. Anderson missed the entire 2005 season for undisclosed (non-injury, non-illness) reasons and coaches even told local papers they expected him to transfer. Many have speculated that he was dismissed for disciplinary reasons. While this may be the case, Anderson asked his coaches for permission to return to the team, paid his own way, attended all his classes and was named UConn's football MVP, despite rarely touching the ball.

Reminds me of: Anderson plays almost exactly like the Chicago Bears' Bryan Johnson. Johnson came into the league as an undrafted free agent, but emerged as one of the best at his position.

How he fits: In the offense the Colts have run in recent years, Anderson's spot would be on the bench. But both coach Tony Dungy and president Bill Polian have mused about the idea of a bigger back to help out on short-yardage and to pick up interior blitzes. A hard-working, versatile fullback like Anderson could force his way onto the field.

More likely, however, Anderson would ply his trade as a wedge-buster, coverage tackler and blocker on special teams for a while before he wins the trust of offensive coaches.

At the Combine, Anderson told Scout.com's Ed Thompson that he had talked to the Colts. He should be available in the middle of Day 2.


(AP Photo)


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