Boone is a very intelligent athlete who easily takes the plays from the board to the field. He does well in school and is very effective making adjustments at the pre-snap. He shows good field alertness and can pick up on the defensive changes well. His ability to improvise is a strong suit and he has patience as a runner to let blocks develop.
Boone displays good mobility for his position, demonstrating functional balance and footwork to slide out of the pocket. He has good lower body flexibility on the run and adequate change of direction agility. He has enough natural strength to break arm tackles when running with the ball. He shows the ability to step up and avoid the pass rush and has good hip swerve and knee bend to turn the corner and gain positive yardage as a runner. He also demonstrates good acceleration to the second level.
When staying in the short area, Boone does a good job of throwing on the move. He still lacks the cannon for an arm to fire bullets up field though. He needs to do a better job of getting the ball to the outside shoulder of the receiver when going long. When flushed out of the pocket, he seems to have better zip throwing from the right hash than the left. His long balls will tail off some if he does not step into his throws.
When he airs the ball out, it seems to lack trajectory to get over the head of the defender, causing for a high amount of pass deflections and interceptions (eight interceptions and 52 passes deflected as a senior and thirteen thefts with 26 pass break-ups in 2013). He is capable of hitting moving targets on underneath routes, showing good velocity on those throws. He has good arm strength, but does not always use it and must be careful not to put too much air under the ball and allow defenders to get a jump (21 interceptions the last two years).
Boone generates production as a passer due to good wrist flick and very good field vision. He might not be as effective throwing on the move or turning and running up field with the ball, but he does a good job of stepping up and sliding out of the pocket to avoid the sack (in 46 games, he was sacked just 24 times on 923 pass attempts). He is the type that makes good decisions on the fly, showing good kinesthetic awareness.
The Duke senior has the balance and agility to avoid the bull rush, but has just marginal quickness (5.03 in the 40-yard dash).. While not known for his scrambling ability or suddenness, he does a good job of staying low in his pads and squaring his shoulders to get the tough yardage on inside runs. He has the functional hip snap to change directions and avoid pocket pressure, but even with sixteen touchdown runs, he is not the type and defender will lose sleep over as a potential running threat.
Still, even though he can’t run distances, Boone is nimble and light on his feet, getting good depth when driving back from center. He stands tall in the pocket and has good down-field vision. He has good balance and quickness driving back from center to his pass set point. He is effective throwing on the move from either hash, but not a threat to run with the ball past the line of scrimmage. He shows tight mechanics and sets his feet with good agility and base.
Boone might have the body of a middle linebacker, but he is an athletic, thickly built quarterback that is not a guy you would term to be a dual-threat necessarily, but he is crafty as a passer on the move. He displays good touch on all his throws, especially streaks and fade routes. At times, you almost wish he'd give it a little more power, which he does have in his arm, especially with such a deep threat receiver like Jamison Crowder as a weapon.
Boone has the good footwork to set quickly and shows keen awareness in the pocket, as he’s been well-tutored by head coach Dave Cutcliffe and rising talent, assistant head coach Scottie Montgomery. He is the type that stays active and does a nice job passing windows with his mobility. He’s also the type that consistently buys second chances and appears comfortable throwing on the run.
Boone wastes little motion when releasing the ball and can make all of the throws necessary at the pro level, and his coaches also have prepared him well for a possible NFL future. He is dangerous working out of the shotgun both as a runner and passer, as he excels on roll outs, can throw rolling to his right or left, will stretch defenses with his ability to scramble. He is just not going to win any foot races going long distances.
Boone is generally a good ball handler (seven fumbles on 1,143 plays, but he alertly recovered all but two in four years at Duke) and does a nice job on play fakes, as that really puts a lot of pressure on defenses. One thing he definitely needs to work on is that he does not always set his feet and can be improvisational when he should be keeping his eyes down field with his feet set and ready to deliver the football from within the pocket.
Anthony Boone NFL Scouting Combine measurable
6-0/231 (5.03 forty)
31 5/8-inch arm length
9 5/8-inch hands
26.5-inch vertical jump
100-inch broad jump
7.47 3 cone drill
4.62 20 yard shuttle
Dave-Te’ Thomas is a sports writer, talent evaluator and scouting personnel consultant for a majority of teams in the National Football League. Thomas runs a scouting information service called NFL Scouting Services and produces THE NFL Draft Report, a publication provided by league headquarters to the media in preparation for the NFL Draft.
SCOUT.COM DRAFT RANKINGS
Position: QB RB FB WR TE OT OG C DT DE OLB MLB S CB K P LS