An interesting players a lot of teams seem to be interested in is tight end Stephen Anderson out of California, who has the Atlanta Falcons and New Orleans watching him, while there’s been interest coming from the New England Patriots, Tennessee Titans and Houston Texans as well.
A walk-on for the Golden Bears, he redshirted in 2011 and barely played in 2012. But he slowly got more and more involved in the California offense the next season, finishing with 14 receptions for 125 yards. Once Richard Rodgers got drafted by the Green Bay Packers, the door was wide open for Anderson. He finished with 661 yards and 5 touchdowns (playing more as a wide receiver in terms of positioning) in 2014 and next season lined up mostly as a tight end, finishing with 471 yards and two touchdowns. In his two final seasons with California he earned honorable mention All-Pac-12 honors.
The Saints will work him out, the Falcons have already did. The Patriots, Titans and Texans might be next for Anderson, who seems to have scouts and experts undecided about how good he’ll be in the NFL. He’ll be a late pick (fifth round, maybe later) in any case. He’s not a very good blocker when he’s close to the trenches, and not too great when it comes to fooling defenders when running routes. Many consider him a tweener, but not in a good way as he heads into the NFL. However, enough talent evaluators think he has the potential to improve and maybe become a useful, not necessarily starting tight end with some work.
They know how to make ’em in California when it comes to tight ends. We mentioned Rodgers. There’s Craig Stevens and above all Tony Gonzalez. Anderson wasn’t supposed to become someone good enough to get drafted, but he surprised many with his rise through the ranks, step by step, year by year after coming on as a walk on. He shouldn’t be good enough to make it into the NFL, but apparently there’s something there which is keeping teams quite intrigued.