New Orleans Saints rookie ILB Stephone Anthony making his presence felt fast


The New Orleans Saints are wrapping up their second week of organized team activities, and a number of players are beginning to stick out, including 2015 first-round pick Stephone Anthony.

The Clemson product has stood out well at the “Mike” linebacker position, likely making David Hawthorne feel a bit nervous about his job security.

The 6-foot-3, 243 pound ILB has the size, speed (top performer at combine with a 4.56 40-yards dash), strength and pursuit to be a force in the middle and cover the field from sideline to sideline. He can play the run and the pass – both were areas of weakness in New Orleans a season ago.

Stephone Anthony has the physical tools and motor to come in and compete immediately for a starting role with a great chance of long-term success at the next level.  He was the leader of that stout Clemson defense and could come on to do the exact same thing in the Big Easy.

With rookie minicamp and two weeks or OTAs in the books, Anthony has already caught the attention of the coaching staff and media, displaying those athletic traits he advertised so well during college.

Sean Payton continues to praise Stephone Anthony, but coach understands there’s still work to be done.  “I think he (Anthony) has good instincts,” Payton said. “There’s an installation each day, or every other day. There’s been some real good plays, and then some plays where we’ll go back and watch it on film and try to make the corrections.”

As mandatory minicamp and training camp approach, we’ll get a better idea of how Anthony will fit in and be utilized, but so far, so good.  We could be looking at the next play caller on the Saints defense sooner rather than later if he can outperform David Hawthorne this summer.

More from Who Dat Dish