Smart Gamble Late

May 8th, 2022

Todd Bowles talks Bucs rookie edge rusher Andre Anthony.

In Joe’s eyes, a seventh-round pick is a total throwaway pick. Joe bets the Bucs have had more luck this century with undrafted free agents than with seventh-round picks. Shoot, in 2014 and 2015, the Bucs signed undrafted free agents Cam Brate and Adam Humphries and those two guys are still producing.

So in the seventh round, why not roll the dice? Bucs coach Todd Bowles told Jim Miller and Pat Kirwan, co-hosts of “Movin’ the Chains” heard exclusively on SiriusXM NFL Radio, that was the mindset in drafting Andre Anthony from LSU despite being injured.

It was worth the gamble.

“He has height, weight, speed and athleticism,” Bowles said of the linebacker. “We know he is banged up and we know he was hurt. But at that point in time, we will take a chance on a guy that has all those traits. You can train and teach once he gets healthy. So it was well worth it for us. So we took the gamble.”

When Anthony went down against Central Michigan (was he going against fellow Bucs rookie Luke Goedeke?), he was among the nation’s leaders in tackles for loss (four) and sacks (3.5). In 2020, he led LSU in sacks (5.5). This is the SEC folks, not Conference USA or the Ohio Valley.

If a guy was averaging a sack a game last year in the SEC before his knee injury, you damn right Joe would take a stab at  him with a throwaway seventh-round pick. (Yes, Joe knows those 2021 sacks came against McNeese State and UCLA.)

34 Responses to “Smart Gamble Late”

  1. Bird Says:

    Yup. This is where you take a gamble on a hurt player.

  2. Dooley Says:

    Anthonys’ a pretty smart dude, when I got to YouTubing him I found a few videos of him critiquing his own film in what looked like an LSU in-house pod/sportscast. Agree with Bowles the measurables add up and we got special teams production out of 2021’s Mr.Irrelevant, so why not tempt fate again. Also, I think of all the draftee calls on the team site, Bowles response to Anthony’s’ emotional reaction was really cool to see as a fellow human being.

  3. Defense Rules Says:

    Thanks for the ‘find’ Joe; I really hadn’t paid this 7th Rnd pick any mind. But you’re exactly right, he’s got great potential. Found this analysis after the draft finished which seems to say that this kid could end up being a real steal …

    ‘Round 7, No. 248 overall: Andre Anthony, EDGE, LSU: Anthony suffered a season-ending torn ACL three games into the 2021 season, having recorded 3.5 sacks and 4.0 tackles for a loss. He had a team-leading 5.5 sacks the season before. Despite the injury, he was able to run his 40-yard dash at LSU’s pro day, a mere seven months later, clocking a 4.63. In terms of getting to the quarterback, he can do a little bit of everything — bull rush, push-pull, he can use speed and he can spin.’

  4. WhatTheBuc Says:

    There are generally more successful undrafted free agents than 7th round picks but that’s because teams bring in 10-15 UFFAs compared to 1-2 7th round picks.

  5. Tampabaybucfan Says:

    You could throw a dart at the LSU defensive roster and come up with a good player every time.
    Rooting for this kid is easy.

  6. Dooley Says:

    Joe you should check out the DE Deionte Knight out as well, may be another long shot but if he can impress through rookie camp he might be the UDFA gem we’d want to hit on, the guy is a menace.

  7. Dman Says:

    Rooting for this guy. And agree with TBBUCKFAN, LSU always has great athletes, how can you not take a shot with a guy like this.

  8. Casual Observer Says:

    Can he play inside LB as well? Just wondering.

  9. PSL Bob Says:

    This could be one of the better picks in the draft once he’s healthy. And, we need some new young blood at LB.

  10. Biff Barker Says:

    Probably the most fun part of the draft in mining for gems.

    Maybe we found one.


  11. Robert Says:

    Love the optimism but there’s a reason no other really smart teams took a flyer on him. The chances that he’ll even make the practice squad are slim. This is part of the “there’s nothing to talk about right now” part of the off season that stinks.

  12. Fansince76 Says:

    i think he has a chance to be better than the Hall pick

  13. Colin in Canada Says:

    I agree that taking a shot on a guy like this is a smart move. I suspect he will be a practice squad player. Hopefully he can develop.

  14. Irishmist Says:

    The fates stole away a good LSU LB, so maybe they owe us one.

  15. GOB Says:

    The lack of production across six seasons, is an immediate red flag. Even without the knee injury, this guy probably wouldn’t have been picked higher than the 6th. That being said, what can it hurt. Taking a flyer on a guy from a big school with the last pick is hard to argue against

  16. firethecannons Says:

    So AA better now? what happened to the knee? is it fixable in time for OTA”s? Is he intelligent? and other character points good? I am optimistic, Last year Grant Stuard has blossomed into a good special teams pickup–love watching him hi five after a play with other teammates–he is very animated.

  17. firethecannons Says:

    jst read more–definitely a good pickup at a position that if he pans out and is good–we could use that–need more production out of the whole edge gang Shaq excluded we got alot yooung guys that need coaching up JTS,Nelson,Gill, and now AA, hopefully we got a UDFA too or 2.

  18. Tony Says:

    That’s why I would never trade away draft picks. If anything trade down as much as possible because you never know who you might find later on in the draft. Brady is a good example. I’m sure nobody really expected him to turn out as well as he has.

  19. JimbobBucsFan Says:

    Two things.

    First I bilieve I read an aritcle here about how because of our current roster UDFAs are not beating down the door at One Buc Palace anymore. Two, we have nothing to lose with taking a chance with this guy. It is smart to scout well and look at what “dregs” you may have left on your draft board at the very end of the draft.

    Every pick can count! Your first pick can prove to be a bust or go down with a career ending broken leg in practice at any time just as easily as your last.

  20. JimbobBucsFan Says:

    Also the guy is already 25 years old and many would have passed on him for that reason, even if he had not been injured. He is obviously smart enough and hard working enough that if he fails to make it in the NFL he can finish his Masters and make a good living anyway.

  21. Cobraboy Says:

    Not sure there is much difference between a 7th-round pick and a FA.

  22. Cobraboy Says:

    @Tony: Never trade picks?

    Like JPP, Mankins, and Mason, just to name a few recent ones?

  23. rrsrq Says:

    Get healthy and have a healthy chip on your shoulder, obviously talented and measurables because he started for LSU defense. I’m sure the LSU connect not only on the Bucs, but LSU LB crew will coach him up

  24. Destinjohnny Says:

    Well the one and only scout that we have that covers all the the southeastern region did his job.

  25. steele Says:

    Those praying for a miracle from Anthony, that he is the new Shaq Barrett, really should cool it. Look at the game film available, not just him talking. He is awful. Pushed around, knocked around, disappears a lot. He showed some improvement just before injury, but nothing to get excited about. JAG until proven otherwise. Which could take years.

    I’ll give him kudos for being smart, analytical and humble about himself. Good attitude.

  26. DoooshLaRue Says:

    I like it!

  27. Dapostman Says:

    Remember when the Bucs passed on La’el Collins in round 7 only to draft Joey Iosefa?

    I do………………………..

    I don’t care if La’el Collins threatened to sit out the whole 2015 season and reenter the 2016 draft. In the 7th round the risk/reward was so low that they couldn’t lose unless they don’t draft Collins which they didn’t of course.

    Maybe they learned something.

  28. Loren Says:

    I really do not see what everyone sees. From the video I have seen, I see a guy with no motor who is always in the wrong place and gives up on almost every play. He should have just not shown up at all against Georgia. He won’t make it out of camp and I doubt he sniffs the practice squad.

  29. dmatt Says:

    I’m sorry but the films I saw on this guy shows a guy getting pushed n shoveled around at ease. That’s not the way u make it to the next level.

  30. Lokog Says:

    I want him to break the freaks rookie sack record

  31. DoooshLaRue Says:

    You guys ruefully wanting Collins in the 2015 draft need to go back to 2015.
    He was toxic and if I’m not mistaken, said he would only play for the Cowboys.

    But yeah, we should have drafted him.

    Hindsight is great though, huh?

  32. Joe Says:

    On Collins, as Doosh accurately points out, the NFL was embroiled in players getting into hassles with women at the time in very high profile cases. The fact his name was in an investigation of a pregnant women being murdered (if Joe remembers right) was too much for the NFL.

    Yeah, he was available in the seventh round, for a very good reason. Joe is convinced Goodell ordered teams not to touch him until he was cleared. Yeah, you could say you would have told Goodell to take a hike and still turned his name in. The NFL employee who took the card at the draft would have immediately torn it in half and said, “Pick someone else.”

  33. Canabuc Says:

    Give him the draft capital invested on him I don’t mind the pic. Especially when you look at our roster and realize that without jpp we only have Shaq jts cam Gill and Anthony Nelson leaving very little depth if there is injury. If nothing else yes he is older but that also means he is a bit more mature. Fact that he ran a 46340 7 months after an ACL repair is a good sign that he does have athleticism.

    I did look at a bit of tape on him and do agree that he did not look particularly great. That being said overall that entire LSU defense the last couple of years has not been very good. Sometimes you can’t judge a player alone when he has an entire team that is not good around him.
    If he has good physical tools and a good head on his shoulders we have the coaching staff to make him better. This is exactly what you want with your last pick in the draft.

  34. Brandon Says:

    Weren’t 2.5 or 3 of his 3.5 sacks against McNeese St.? I watched his highlights… he was unblocked on one of those sacks.