Faced With Jamaal Anderson's Subpar Play, What Should the Falcons Do?
The Atlanta Falcons' first round pick in the 2007 NFL draft was Arkansas' Jamaal Anderson. He was a highly valued player in Arkansas and appeared to have a great deal of talent that could translate in the NFL.
He started in the left end spot from day one. He has been moved around the defensive line from both end spots to both tackle spots. So far he has started 31 games in two seasons, compiling only 57 tackles and two sacks with no forced fumbles.
This is pathetic. Backup defensive end Chauncey Davis recorded four sacks this season despite only starting one game. You could argue that is because he is a situational pass rusher. Well, he also recorded 38 tackles this year compared to 27 for Anderson.
I am not saying that Davis is the answer; far from it. What I am saying is that Anderson needs to either find his role i.e. defensive tackle on passing downs. (Anderson is 6'6", 282, which is a proper size for a defensive tackle.) This would allow him to be useful by using his body to open up holes for the "real" pass rushing ends or linebackers.
We should not declare Anderson a bust just yet. He has the size and is only 23. We can, however, be disappointed with him, which I am pretty sure everyone is. Let us see the Falcons draft a true pass rusher in the third or fourth round so that we can get back to having a feared pass rush, instead of just John Abraham and occasionally Jonathan Babineaux.
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