After a few years in the NFL working as a backup, Calvin Anderson set a career-high in snaps played in 2021. With an open competition in place at right tackle, could Anderson finally become a full-time starter?
#76 Calvin Anderson
Weight: 300 lbs
Position: Offensive Tackle
Experience: 4 years
How he fits with the Broncos in 2022
Calvin Anderson has primarily served as the swing tackle with the Denver Broncos, taking reps at left and right tackle. He’s only played roughly 300 snaps in his career, with the vast majority at left tackle filling in for Garett Bolles. Last season was the season where it felt like things started to click for him. He started three games for Denver last season, and outside of a couple of poor reps against the Philadelphia Eagles, Anderson did a solid job protecting Teddy Bridgewater. He didn’t allow a single sack and gave up just two QB hits (both in the Philly game) in those starts. He was far from perfect, with a blown pass block rate of over 5%, but that production counts for something.
He was a better run blocker though, and that’s been the story for most of his career. His blown run block rate finished 18th among 47 LTs with over 150 snaps, and he did a solid job of generating push and keeping Melvin Gordon and Javonte Williams clean. The NFL values run blocking with right tackles more than pass protection, and Anderson can check that box off.
I just don’t know how much of a role he’ll really have at right tackle and in this scheme moving forward. When he played right tackle, he struggled and had poor tape and production. He looked uncomfortable, which makes sense given that he’s played left tackle virtually his entire life. It’s not easy to flip sides. He’s obviously not taking the left tackle job from Bolles barring an injury, so his role seems to be sticking on as the swing/backup left tackle. Both Tom Compton and Billy Turner have more experience at right tackle, in the outside zone scheme, and have better tape at right tackle. In the event of an injury to Turner, Compton would likely take that spot over Anderson and rightfully so.
His scheme fit in outside zone is also the worst of the three. He posted better testing numbers than he plays with (he also tested at 292 pounds), and I’m not sure he has the lateral quickness and athleticism to really hang on in this scheme. Outside zone basically requires an elite athlete, and Anderson’s film doesn’t show that caliber of athlete.
Calvin Anderson is still a valuable swing tackle option, and he should be a lock to make the roster barring an injury or sudden trade. There’s been plenty of buzz about him in camp, which makes that feel even more comfortable. If Denver is looking for a long-term solution at right tackle, then Anderson is their best bet for guys currently on the roster due to his age.