Montana State LB Troy Andersen
Yahoo Sports' 2022 NFL draft grade
5.65 — possible third- or fourth-rounder; contributor potential
TL;DR scouting report
Athletically gifted, do-it-all performer with unusual versatility who profiles best at linebacker, although his instincts there remain raw
A 0-star Rivals recruit in the Class of 2017, Andersen committed to the Bobcats and made his impact immediately — at two positions. He started games at both running back and linebacker as a true freshman, rushing 90 times for 515 yards and five scores; catching seven passes for 45 yards and a TD; and adding nine tackles (one for loss) and a sack.
In 2018, Andersen moved to quarterback, starting 11 of 13 games there and completing 115 of 208 passes for 1,195 yards, three TDs, seven INTs; rushing 206 times for 1,412 yards and 21 TDs; catching a 32-yard pass; punting four times for 146 yards; and adding four tackles and a sack on defense. In 2019, he moved back to linebacker (while also seeing duty on offense), totaling 54 tackles (11.5 TFLs), 6.5 sacks, one interception, five pass breakups; competing 2 of 2 passes for 5 yards and a TD; rushing 49 times for 336 yards and seven TDs; and catching a 3-yard pass in 10 games.
In 2020, Andersen underwent knee surgery and would have missed the season had it not been canceled because of COVID-19. He returned in 2021, totaling 147 tackles (14 TFLs), two sacks, two interceptions, one fumble recovery and seven pass breakups. Andersen competed at the 2022 Senior Bowl.
Good LB size and length — pushing 6-4 with 32 1/8-inch arms
Elite testing profile athletically — top-tier results across the board with no weak spots
Plays fast and brings some pop to the party on impact
Good range to make plays out to the sideline
Unusual versatility — played extensively on both sides of the ball and on special teams
Gifted athlete who can make things happen with or without the ball in his hands
Rare natural athletic instincts to handle almost any reasonable duty in a pinch
Offers rare special-teams trick-play options as thrower and runner
Three-time team captain
Did whatever he was asked and was good at almost everything — team-first player
Profiles as excellent special teamer — four-unit contributor potential
Praised for leadership, work ethic and off-field contributions
Looked better as Senior Bowl week wore on amid step up in competition
Take-on power is lacking — might need to add more strength
High-cut body type lacking in lower-body mass
LB instincts still developing after limited experience there
Will overflow on gaps and be out of position to handle cutbacks
Assignments might need to be kept basic early on as he gains feel for position
Block deconstruction can be awkward at times
Technique in coverage a work in progress — largely relying on athletic ability
Missed fewer tackles in 2021 than in 2019 but still too sloppy in technique
Blitzing ability not yet fully realized
Played at lower level of competition
A bit on the older side — turns 23 on draft week
Andersen's NFL future appears to be on defense, but scouts we talked to believe he could be a second-chance player with an offensive role if needed. He also figures to be a core special teamer, with the size and athletic profile to be a major contributor there. Defensively, Andersen might be pegged for a third- or fourth-LB role early but could grow into a weakside or middle linebacker in a fast-flow front. He's a fascinating study and teams that favor rare versatility and maximizing roster spaces will value his experience heavily.
Did you know
Andersen was named Big Sky Freshman of the Year in 2017, when he played running back and linebacker. In 2018, he was named a third-team All-America FCS as all-purpose player and first-team All-Big Sky as a quarterback. Moved to running back (and back to linebacker), Andersen was named first-team All-America and first-team All-Big Sky. Then in 2021 he was a unanimous All-America selection and voted Big Sky Defensive Player of the Year.
A more gifted, athletic version of Nick Vigil
Expected draft range