Will Anderson enters this NFL Draft season as one of the top prospects in the class. In a QB-heavy draft, Anderson is a top-two prospect alongside Jalen Carter. There can be an argument that Anderson is better than Carter, or plays at a more valued position, but the two are neck-and-neck going into draft season.
Will Anderson is a three-year player out of Alabama. For a player like Anderson, he had a down year by his standards. Anderson recorded 10 sacks and 24 solo tackles. Ranking eighth in sacks would be a great season for any other player, but coming off a season where he had 17.5 sacks, 57 solo tackles, and finished fifth in Heisman voting — this season was a bit of a disappointment.
He particularly struggled early in the season against Texas where he had four penalty flags, including one flag that gave Texas a first down. As the season moved forward, he cleaned up these issues and was able to return to his dominant self. Anderson is 6-foot-4 and currently weighs 240 pounds. He has numerous accolades, including All-American nods. He is a player with many strengths and few weaknesses.
2023 NFL Draft Prospect Watch: Will Anderson, EDGE, Alabama
Strengths– Pass rushing ability/run defense
A lot of what I love about Anderson is his ability to get past his offensive lineman. He has a lot of moves in the toolbox that he uses to blow by the line of scrimmage. Addtionally, he has a great ability to get to the ball carrier. Anderson is very athletic and explosive post-jump, which will make any offensive lineman’s job very difficult.
Will Anderson is the kind of prospect that doesn’t really have any weaknesses. Yes, a lot of scouts have pointed out that Anderson probably needs to find a way to get past offensive linemen through pure strength — not just explosive moves.
That adjustment will most likely come in training camp/practice. This issue is very minor and can be fixed in training camp or early in his career with proper NFL coaching. The early flags do worry me a little bit, but these issues can be easily mended by the time Anderson’s rookie year concludes.
NFL Draft Projection – No. 1 Overall (Will Not Fall Outside Top 5)
Anderson has some minor struggles, but he will, at the very least, be one of the first five prospects drafted. I really like the All-American on the Eagles. While he could slide down the board a little (unlikely), or the Saints could continue to lose (likely), putting Anderson on this defense would be adding even more fuel to the fire. Considering the age of the amazing corners in Philadephia, a top corner might be more of a priority for them, but Will Anderson grades out better.
I could also see him going to the Bears. If the Bears continue to be one of the worst teams in the league, adding Anderson would jumpstart the rebuild. The Alabama superstar definitely has the potential to be one to add to the long list of great Bears’ defenders. While the Bears do need to fix their offensive line, passing Anderson could be a laughable mess years later.
Finally, I could see Anderson going to the Seahawks (via the Broncos). If the Seahawks believe Geno Smith is their guy, it makes sense to draft Anderson in a year where, based on the talent, he should go No. 1 overall. As already stated, Anderson is one of the two best prospects in the 2023 NFL Draft, yet QBs with loads of potential, like fellow teammate Bryce Young, will probably go before him. If Seattle thinks Smith can be a solid starting QB for the next couple of years, taking Anderson makes all the sense in the world.
Where Will Anderson goes in this NFL Draft will depend on positional need, not just talent. In a QB-heavy draft, even a talent like Anderson might not go top three. While that is an outrageous statement to make, you have to consider the fact that Bryce Young and C.J. Stroud are the heavy favorites to go 1-2 if two QB-needy teams are at the top.
Addtionally, the absolute stud Jalen Carter is in this draft as well. While I prefer Anderson over Carter because Anderson plays a higher-value position, some draft rooms will prefer Carter over him, respectfully.