Troy Andersen: The Sleeper Pick of the Second Round

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Troy Andersen is arguably the most athletic athlete to come out of Montana State University. With the NFL Draft come and gone, Troy is now an Atlanta Falcon. The Falcons’ draft was extremely crucial this year. With them parting ways with their former MVP quarterback, Matt Ryan, and having glaring holes at wide receiver and on the defense, it was imperative they drafted well. They did and as a result, got someone who very well could be the sleeper pick that happened to be in the second round of the NFL Draft at the 58th overall pick.

Troy Andersen: The Tape

The stats and accomplishments are already there for Andersen. However, for the eye-test folk, there is plenty to offer as well. Troy Andersen can absolutely fly as he played multiple positions (mainly linebacker) during his time for the Montana State Bobcats. During the NFL combine, he also showed out with a 40-yard dash time of 4.41.

An impressive feat, especially at 6’3 and 242 pounds. For additional context, this was the best 40 time ran by all linebackers invited. Not only do the Falcons now possess an athletic freak of nature, they also have a player who can be multi-dimensional and play any side of the field. Troy Andersen has the potential to be a steal as a linebacker. However, he also can be a solid special-teams player, and even someone who can be utilized on trick-plays offensively. Andersen’s talent may be raw, but with time, it will be refined and he can turn into not just a day-one starter, but even a Pro-Bowl caliber player.

Troy Andersen: His Impact on the Atlanta Falcons

The Falcons had a solid draft as alluded to already. It may not have been a home-run like the New York Jets hit with their draft picks, but it was decent enough nonetheless. They addressed their need at receiver on day one by selecting Drake London. The Falcons’ second pick was another linebacker named Arnold Ebiketie. Then, they snagged the sleeper of the second round in Troy Andersen. As a result, Atlanta addressed their three biggest needs in just two days. The linebacker spot has been a cause for concern for the Falcons for awhile now.

Will Troy Andersen end up being the next Ray Lewis or Ray Nitschke? Definitely not. However, he does have the raw talent to become a second-tier inside linebacker. He also has the fundamentals to become one of the best tacklers in the game. During his career at Montana State, he racked up 214 total tackles, 27.5 tackles for loss, 10.5 sacks, and 15 passes defended. With the Falcons needing help right away at this spot, Andersen is going to baptized by fire in the NFL. Sometimes, that is the best way to ignite a rookie to stardom, see Micah Parsons last year with the Dallas Cowboys.

Atlanta’s Overall Season Outlook

The Falcons are not projected to be a playoff contender this coming year, but that is okay for a team rebuilding. Tom Brady returned and asking Marcus Mariotta or Desmond Ridder to compete in the division with the Buccaneers is a tall order. However, with the right development and solid drafting, Atlanta could be a threat in the next few years. Especially with sleeper picks such as Troy Andersen.