In an appearance on “Good Morning Football” on Tuesday, Anderson explained why he’s the “right” selection near the top of the draft.
“At the end of the day, I know the type of person I am, I know what type of player I am. All those guys are good guys, but for me, I just try to go out there and be Will Anderson. It’s not a safe pick: it’s the right pick,” Anderson said of being labeled the “safe” pick in contrast to other defensive players who could go in the top 10 such as Texas Tech‘s Tyree Wilson and Georgia‘s Jalen Carter. “That’s just humbly speaking. I worked my butt off to be in this position. God has blessed me so much in my life, so I’m super excited to be here, and I’m ready for the next chapter.”
Anderson had a stellar three-year collegiate career, which included two National Championship Game appearances with Alabama, one of which they won (2020). Individually, he finished the 2022 season with 51 combined tackles, 10 sacks and one interception, which he ran back for a touchdown.
Anderson totaled 101 total tackles and 17.5 sacks the season prior, helping him finish fifth in Heisman Voting. All in all, he’s second in Alabama history in sacks (34.5) behind Derrick Thomas (52).
How high could Anderson be selected in next week’s draft?
The Carolina Panthers have openly said that they traded up for the No. 1 pick to select a quarterback, while teams like the Houston Texans (No. 2) and Indianapolis Colts (No. 4) could follow suit. On the other hand, Houston could run it back with soon-to-be quarterback Davis Mills and select Anderson.
Meanwhile, the Arizona Cardinals (No. 3) are a prime candidate to pick the standout linebacker due to having quarterback Kyler Murray under contract through 2028 and them finishing 23rd in the NFL in sacks last season (36). The Seattle Seahawks at No. 5 are another potential landing spot for Anderson.
The Crimson Tide have a long-standing track record of producing quality, if not top-tier NFL front-seven defenders. Of late, C.J. Mosley, A’Shawn Robinson, Jonathan Allen, Dalvin Tomlinson and Quinnen Williams are among the players who have found success in the NFL.
Anderson is grateful for the success and mentorship that some of the aforementioned players and ones from generations ago — such as Thomas — had on him and his teammates.
“I feel like all those guys paved the way for the upcoming young defensive guys. They’ve sacrificed so much to help us be in positions like that,” Anderson said of the Alabama defenders that came before him. “Just to be an elite edge rusher like that you just have to have a relentless mindset. You got to always want to go after the quarterback, you want to always have to give effort, beat guys, training. I think that’s the biggest thing I’ve learned is training to get into the quarterback.”
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