With the 31st pick in the first round of the 2015 NFL Draft, the New Orleans Saints select Clemson inside linebacker Stephone Anthony.
CBSSports.com's Pete Prisco doesn't love the pick: Anthony -- C- I don't think this is kid is a first-round talent. I know a lot of others disagree. They had other needs.
New Orleans had other needs and Anthony is not a first-round talent, IMO. Consider this a C- pick. http://t.co/JH9dWaxEnl— Pete Prisco (@PriscoCBS) May 1, 2015
Anthony was the 72nd-ranked prospect, according to CBSSports.com but the Saints, with myriad needs on defense, used their second first-round pick (acquired from the Seahawks in the Jimmy Graham trade) to restock a unit that has struggled in recent years under coordinator Rob Ryan. He'll join a linebackers corps that includes David Hawthorne, Dannell Ellerbe, Junior Galette and Anthony Spencer.
Anthony's former teammate at Clemson is unconcerned, however.
My boy Stephone Anthony is about to do big things. He is a an animal and is a steal for the Saints #underrated— Sanders Sullivan (@SandersSullivan) May 1, 2015
The same holds for coach Sean Payton (obviously):
#Saints Sean Payton on stephone Anthony. Most suited to play mike but could play either inside position. One of a few ILBs they liked.— Mike Triplett (@MikeTriplett) May 1, 2015
More on Anthony from NFLDraftScout.com's Rob Rang and Dane Brugler: "Carries an ideal frame for an inside 'backer, with thickness through the middle and broad shoulders, and he exhibits the explosive downhill first step and feisty demeanor to be a strong contributor in the box. ... Highly aggressive and will attack gaps, leaving cutback lanes for savvy runners to exploit. Just average lateral agility and sideline-to-sideline range, and he seems to take shallow angles against the run when the play goes to the outside."