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2023 NFL Draft Scouting Report: Will Anderson Jr., Edge, University of Alabama

Alabama edge rusher Will Anderson Jr. is a blue chip prospect in the 2023 NFL draft.
Alabama edge rusher Will Anderson Jr. is a blue chip prospect in the 2023 NFL draft.

Will Anderson Jr. is one of the most hyped players in the 2023 NFL draft class. We break down the skillset he brings to the table here.

Will Anderson Jr. was one of the best defensive players in college football over the last decade. The Crimson Tide superstar won the Nagurski Award given to the best defensive player in college football in back-to-back seasons.

With his talent and absurd production he projects very well to the NFL, so let’s break down why that is the case.

This scouting report is also available in a video format here. I strongly encourage everyone to watch that video as it allows you to visualize everything I discuss in this scouting report.


Birthdate: 9/2/2001

Height/Weight: 6-foot-4, 243 pounds

High School: Dutchtown HS (Hampton, GA)

Recruit (247): 2020 class- No. 17 Natl No. 1 WDE

2022 Stats: 65 pressures 14 sacks 30 stops

2022 PFF: 83.2

2021 Stats: 82 pressures 15 sacks 53 stops

2021 PFF: 89.8


  • Quickness/Burst
    • Lethal First Step
      • If a tackle doesn’t get out of his stance quickly he’s getting beat around the edge.
      • Not only quick, but his reaction time to snaps is phenomenal.
    • Pass Rush
      • Smart as a pass rusher, has a very good understanding of how to leverage his quickness to his advantage.
      • Quickness will be amongst the best in the league for edge rushers.
    • Run Defense
      • Teams will sometimes purposely leave him unblocked on runs to the other side, but he has the speed to track ball carriers down.
    • Stunts
      • Prolific looping around the middle on stunts due to his speed/burst.
      • If he goes to a DL who utilizes him well on stunts he’ll pick up a few sacks every year on them alone.
  • Leverage Battles in Run Game
    • A bit undersized at 6-foot-4, 243 pounds you’d expect him to be at a disadvantage defending the run, but he’s actually a very good run defender.
    • Anderson Jr. Is not just elite athletically, but he’s very good technically as he knows how to use his hands to win leverage battles.
    • This combined with excellent instincts leads to him putting himself in very good positions to make plays in the run game.
  • Stamina
    • Snap Counts
      • Will Anderson Jr. rarely ever comes off the field.
      • Big selling point to his game as he can play at a high level across a lot of snaps.
      • Played 600+ snaps in 2022, 2021, and 2020 seasons.
      • 2021: 873 snaps in 15 games- tied for first amongst EDs in FBS.
      • Played 60+ snaps in 20 games in his career.
    • Motor
      • Relentless as a pass rusher and in run game.
      • Has never given up on a play and will never give up on a play.
  • Production
    • Elite Resume
      • Widely known as one of the best players in college football.
      • First two-time Nagurski Award winner since 1996 (Best defensive player in college football)
    • Pass Rushing
      • Consistently terrorizes opposing QBs
      • 2022: 14 sacks, 65 pressures- tied for second in the power five
      • 2021: 15 sacks, 82 pressures- most in FBS
      • 2020: 8 sacks, 60 pressures- most in FBS
    • Run Defense
      • Dominant as a run stopper in all 3 seasons
      • Run defense grades: 2022- 86.0 2021- 89.6 2020- 81.1
      • 53 stops in 2021 was second amongst FBS EDs


  • Power
    • Not a power rusher
      • At 6-foot-4, 243 pounds it’s hard to see him winning consistently with a bull rush against NFL tackles.
      • Not a necessity to become an elite edge rusher but it’s nice to have as many tools in the tool box as possible.
      • Not a big knock as he’s simply more of a speed rusher as opposed to a power rusher.
  • Tackling
    • Finishing Plays
      • Puts himself in position to make plays consistently, but at times struggles tackling.
      • Missed 14 tackles in 2022- 27.5% of his tackle attempts
      • Tackling grades at Bama- 2022: 46.6, 2021: 71.4, 2020: 64.0

Will Anderson Jr. Edge Alabama Final Evaluation

Position Rank: ED1

Projection: Top 4 Pick

Will Anderson Jr. is most definitely a blue chip prospect. He is easily amongst the best players in this class as he projects to develop into an elite edge rusher in the NFL.

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