Alabama football got a dominant player in Will Anderson during his three seasons in Tuscaloosa, Ala.
His career finished with several individual awards, including two Bronko Nagurski trophies, two SEC Defensive Player of the Year trophies, the Chuck Bednarik Award, the Lott IMPACT Trophy, and the Rotary Lombardi Award. Anderson was a two-time first-team All-Southeastern Conference selection (2021 and 2022) and the Crimson Tide’s first two-time Unanimous All-American (2021 and 2022) in school history. The native Georgian totaled 34.5 career sacks — falling second to the legend, Derrick Thomas.
Anderson has positioned himself to be selected in the top five of April’s NFL Draft. He could be the No. 1 overall pick as the Chicago Bears hold that selection. Brian Baldinger, an NFL analyst, studied tape on Anderson throughout last season.
He broke down a play against Auburn and detailed what makes Anderson a special edge rusher.
.@AlabamaFTBL @will_anderson28 understand that every opponent; nearly every play; game planned for him. That’s the treatment that the great ones get…allowing others to make plays….@ChicagoBears @NFLDraft #bama #BaldysBreakdowns pic.twitter.com/AC4CCsLqmc
— Brian Baldinger (@BaldyNFL) January 11, 2023
The 6-foot-4, 243-pounder brings quickness, speed to power conversion, edge-bending abilities, strength at the attack point (stopping the run), and finishing abilities. Anderson is not the best coverage linebacker, but he was not required to cover at Alabama. It will be interesting to see which team at the top of the draft takes him. They are getting an incredible leader.
He assisted the Crimson Tide to a College Football Playoff National Championship in 2020.
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Stephen M. Smith is the managing editor and senior writer for Touchdown Alabama Magazine. You can “like” him on Facebook or “follow” him on Twitter, via @CoachingMSmith.
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