The Colts are desperate for some solid play from the interior of their defensive line, and Henry Anderson could change the face of their defense this season.
Indianapolis’ defense ranked 29th overall last season, and dead last against the run according to Football Outsiders.
One of the defense’s main issues was a severe lack of talent along the defensive line, and that weakness was exacerbated with the loss of defensive tackle Henry Anderson.
Anderson has had trouble staying healthy in his first two NFL seasons, but he’s been very effective when he’s been on the field. He racked up 5 run stuffs, 1 sack, and 9.5 QB hurries in only 9 games as a third-round rookie in 2015.
His production tailed off a bit last season, but that can be explained in part by lingering injury issues and ineffective defenders around him.
The analysts at Pro Football Focus have been huge Henry Anderson fans ever since he was coming out of Stanford in the 2015 NFL Draft.
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He earned an above-average grade of 77.9 last season, and he’s had the Colts’ best run defense grades over each of the past two years according to PFF’s Michael Manning. Anderson also had the second-most run stops among defensive ends in 2015.
Anderson’s injury issues remain to be a major concern, but he’s been healthy all preseason after admitting that his knee definitely affected his play in 2016.
General manager Chris Ballard signed fellow defensive tackle Johnathan Hankins this offseason, and a Hankins-Anderson combo on the interior would definitely improve the Colts’ run defense in 2017.