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25 Days of Draftmas: Iowa DE Anthony Nelson fits the mold

It’s Day Three of 25 days of draft prospects leading up to Draft Day!

NCAA Football: Senior Bowl Chuck Cook-USA TODAY Sports

A very Merry Draftmas to you! It’s 25 Days of Draftmas on Arrowhead Pride, where we’ll be giving you a Kansas City Chiefs draft prospect every day in April leading up to the NFL Draft. You’ll get a daily prospect profile like this one right up until Draft Day.


Anthony Nelson, defensive end

6’7” | 271 lbs | Iowa

Northwestern v Iowa Photo by Matthew Holst/Getty Images

Projected draft range: Round three

I would take him in the: third round

One-sentence bio: Two-year starter at Iowa and two-year CoSIDA Academic All-American with 23 career sacks in three seasons.

One-sentence scouting report: Big, long power rusher who has great hand technique and is surprisingly athletic.

One play:

How he fits in KC:

Nelson is a perfect fit — a pass rusher archetype for what Steve Spagnuolo and the Chiefs have been building along the defensive line.

He’s big (6-feet-7), long (35-inch arms), and dense (271 pounds) which is consistent with the other new DE additions for the Chiefs. Like most players with this kind of athletic profile, Nelson does a great job playing through his length and hands to generate space, and softening corners as a pass rusher. He would be able to slide into the defensive end rotation with Breeland Speaks, Alex Okafor, Tanoh Kpassagnon and Emmanuel Ogbah early in the season.

Nelson is also very athletic, with one of the best overall athletic testing data sets at the combine this year — and there is room to grow as a pass rusher. He provides a little more juice and flexibility off the edge than the current slate of defensive ends, allowing a little more of a high-end upside. If he’s dropped into a situation that enables him to pin his ears back and really get after the passer — rather than read and react — the athletic flashes could become more prominent.

We talked to Nelson at the Senior Bowl in Mobile, and asked him about the players after whom he models his game.

“I like watching JJ Watt and Danielle Hunter,” he said. “Both of those guys play hard, tough, and have the production.” He added that “they play with good energy, good power, and great leverage.”

Want to read more player profiles from Arrowhead Pride’s 25 Days of Draftmas? Click here for the complete list. And to stay informed on the players in which the Chiefs have shown interest, be sure to check out AP’s Chiefs draft prospect visit and workout tracker.


KC Draft Guide

We have a more detailed write-up on Nelson — and more — in the first-ever edition of the KC Draft Guide, which releases on April 8th. Until release day, use the promo code ‘countdown’ and you can get the guide for only $7.99!

We’ll have over 225 prospect write-ups, with specifics about how prospects fit the Chiefs. There will be big boards, more than 300 grades on players, mock drafts, positional rankings and features — all specific to the Chiefs. You can pre-order the guide for only $7.99 by clicking here or entering ‘countdown’ in the promotional code field below!

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