Marc Anthony has the tools to make an impact at the NFL level.
Seventh Round: 247th Pick
Former California cornerback Marc Anthony was not a highly regarded prospect entering his senior season. He broke into the lineup during his sophomore year but never seemed to be able to improve upon his early success.
Anthony does have some great qualities about him that would satisfy NFL scouts and potentially boost his draft stock. Earlier in 2012, he was regarded as a late-round prospect but could now possibly be a top-100 player (via NFL.com).
Let's take a look at how Anthony got to the wavering draft position in which he currently resides.
There are plenty of things to like about Anthony. For one, at 5'11" and 196 pounds, he has great size for an NFL outside corner. His combination of his size and length will allow him to match up against some of the larger receivers in the NFL.
He shows the capability to play well in man and zone coverage. Anthony also has great vision to locate the football and break up an intended pass. He also possesses great upper-body strength to rip the ball out of the arms of a receiver to cause an incomplete pass.
His long-legged frame can be a hindrance when attempting to recover and while backpedaling. His transition ability becomes much slower than smaller players at this position.
His overall strength is about average, which means he can struggle on occasion when attempting to take down a larger ball-carrier. He must drop his hips and anchor his body better to become a more effective tackler.
Anthony's best tool is his combination of size and length. He is already a prototypical size for an NFL cornerback, but his 32.5" arms give him the length that is necessary to be effective in coverage at the next level.
Combining these tools along with his great vision and ball-tracking ability, Anthony becomes a very likely candidate to break up many passes against above-average opponents.
Anthony has no known character issues and can serve as a leader of a defense due to his amount of experience as a starter and his ability to make a big play.
Injuries continue to be a concern for Anthony, as he missed at least one game in each of his four seasons while at California.
During his years at California, Anthony played in both zone and man schemes. He was primarily lined up on the outside in man coverage and also proved to be an asset in zone.
His experience gained in college will further benefit his transition to the NFL and allow him to become a fit in almost every scheme at the next level.
Playing the Ball
One of Anthony's better attributes, he is always keeping an eye on the location of the ball throughout a play. This allows him to jump routes or get to a ball-carrier in a hurry. He plays with a high amount of aggression and will challenge larger receivers for the right to the pass.
Against the Run
Anthony is not afraid to use his body to tackle up around the line of scrimmage. However, he generally lunges with his body at the ball-carrier and does not possess the ability to wrap up on a consistent basis.
This tackling technique works for and against him. If he connects, he is able to decleat an opponent; however, he has also wound up on his back after a whiff. He is not quite as solid of a tackler against larger ball-carriers due to his average upper-body strength.
Man coverage is a strong suit for Anthony. He is able to trail a receiver closely and use his length and awareness to disrupt a pass. He has played the outside position in man coverage throughout his collegiate career. However, at times he does need safety help over the top due to his tendency to be beaten deep by faster receivers.
Anthony is at his best in zone coverage. This allows him to use his eyes and anticipation skills to watch the quarterback and jump the route of an intended target. He has improved his route anticipation and honed his instincts, which have helped him in this area.
One thing he must improve upon in zone coverage is his tendency to bite on fakes. He is sometimes over-aggressive and will jump too quickly, leaving a receiver wide open.
Tackling is something that Anthony must improve upon at the next level. He will throw his body around with reckless abandon at times but will often just slide off of ball-carriers.
He must learn the proper technique of wrapping up and bringing an opponent to the ground rather than doing for the decleating hit.
Since Anthony has played in different coverage schemes over his collegiate career, he is well-versed in different techniques used in man and zone coverage.
His largest detractor is his own body. His lengthy legs and long frame can hinder his ability to transition. This also slows down his speed when backpedaling and reduces his ability to recover when he has lost ground to a receiver.
Future Role/Scheme Versatility
Anthony should be able to find a role immediately on an NFL team. He does not have the ability to become an instant starter, but he should find a role on special teams while developing his skills.
He does not have the necessary tools to become a top cornerback at the NFL level but could certainly find himself in a complementary role with the right instruction.