The War Room: Damien Anderson, RB, Northwestern
Birthday: July 17, 1979
40 Time: 4.4
Strengths: Damien Anderson possesses a tremendous combination of both power and speed. He runs a 4.4/40 despite adding 18 pounds of muscle since his senior year of high school. A workhorse, Anderson loves to run between the tackles, and is not afraid of contact; though in 2000, he also showed the capacity to break a game open with a long run. As proof, he went over 200 yards four times last year (and totaled 1,990 during the regular season) to finish fifth in the Heisman voting.
Anderson is patient enough to wait for his blockers to open a hole, and when they do, he hits it quickly. He has wonderful vision in the open field and is very slippery.
Areas of concern: If Anderson has a drawback, it’s that he plays in a gimmicky, wide-open offense (think Run-n-Shoot, Jr) that allows him huge lanes to travel between, which raises an obvious question: is he really this good, or merely a product of a terrific system? He’s an average receiver, but considering how often Northwestern throws the football, his pass catching skills are still underdeveloped.
Is he sponge-worthy?: Anderson’s good — very good, but he’s not first overall pick good, at least not at this point in his career. And he knew it, which is why he’s back for his senior season. Anderson said he bypassed the opportunity to go pro last spring because he wanted to work on his passing-catching skills.
"Damien is a guy who has been a very accomplished runner but as I’ve told him there’s about a million guys who can run the football," Wildcat coach Randy Walker said. "For him to be special and for him to have the best chance of success at the next level, he needs to get better at the passing game."
Even if Anderson were to make leaps and bounds in this area, it’s hard to see him at the top of Houston’s draft board. Despite adding muscle, there’s still question whether the small-ish Anderson has the strength to run between the tackles on Sundays.
A first-rounder? No question. A first-overall? Question.
Damien Anderson Return to The War Room
Anderson staying at Northwestern USA Today reports on Damien Anderson’s decision to return to school for his senior year.
Northwestern’s Anderson gives blue-collar effort The Digital Collegian shines the spotlight, for once, on Damien Anderson.
Northwestern tailback Damien Anderson is running down a dream The Columbia Chronicle recounts how Damien Anderson may very well break the mold.