Alabama DE Will Anderson Jr scouting report

Alabama defensive end Will Anderson is a real monster who was arguably the best defensive player and pass rusher in the 2021 season. The 6ft 4 235LBs Will Anderson was a 5 star recruit as per 247sport he was ranked 17th in the nation and the number 1 weak side defensive end in the 2020 class, he was heavily recruited and had a ton of offers from schools such as Auburn, Georgia Tech, Florida, Florida State, Cincinnati and many more top schools. Anderson decided to commit with the SEC powerhouse Alabama. Will Anderson freshman season saw him play 13 games in those 13 games he had 7 sacks, 52 total tackles, 1 forced fumble, 10.5 tackles for loss and a team high 8 QB hurries. In 2021 Will Anderson played even better he was named SEC DPOY he had 101 total tackles, 17.5 sacks, 34.5 tackles for loss, 3 pass breakups and a team high nine QB hurries 

Will Anderson physicals 

Height: 6’4

Weight: 243lbs

Positives of Will Anderson –

Physical traits: Will Anderson has put himself as the EDGE1 this year a lot of it is based on the physical traits he possesses he might not be Jadeveon Clowney or Myles Garrett physically in size but he certainly is a monster. Anderson’s first step is explosive and fast he’s able to generate power and speed / incredible burst within seconds of the ball being snapped. He’s able to come off the line fast and hard, the anticipation and reaction timing being so well combined with the explosive burst with the first step Anderson is able to win his reps with ease. Will Anderson athletically speaking he is elite and in terms of lateral movement he is also elite in this category, the elite lateral movement is shown in his ability to shoot the gaps in the OLine to get to the QB and weave through defenders and tackling in space for Anderson it is easy and natural for him. Moving blocks are easy for Anderson to get by the use of his lateral movement combined with the suddenness and finesse he can easily take on those linemen. When shooting the gaps Anderson can hit those gaps at any angle and is still able to maintain his speed and acceleration. 

Physical traits: 96/100

Strength and Bend and Motor: Will Anderson motor is relentless he is persistent on winning and getting stops his motor can go on for ages he will always work to win. High energy athlete always putting in 100% in every snap he plays, he will fight for every rep always in a constant battle, when it comes to being in pursuit and tracking and chasing the ball carrier his acceleration and speed in pursuit when closing in on defenders really shows. He is able to chase down the ball carrier and win those tackling reps just a reminder Anderson had 56 solo tackles in 2021, his incredible non stop motor shows on film in so many reps it is really incredible. We touched a bit on his strength in his physical traits when we talked about the power Anderson is able to generate when on the line of scrimmage bursting off the line, Anderson being able to generate power and strength and win battles with the lower part of his body generating that power down low he can maintain driving with his leg keeping the power and powering through on power rush drives. Anderson also has great upper body strength he can hit with force and control reps with his hands and upper body able to drive/knock back his assignment. Bend, Will Anderson is a superb athlete who does not show any stiffness in the ankle or hip region, He is capable of flipping his hips with ease and able to change direction in an instant maintaining that acceleration and showing no stiffness Anderson can really manipulate those tight spaces and angles with the flexibility of his hips and ankles 

Strength: 94/100

Bend: 97/100

Motor: 100/100

Run defense and Pass rushing ability: We mentioned his strength in his hands and how he can drive back and knock back offensive tackles, Anderson technique with hands are very advanced and he has a very high IQ when it comes to the pass rush game and having a plan when coming off the line he shows a variety of moves / skillset in his arsenal winning reps with rip moves, swipes and chops, swim moves. Anderson can win reps with his natural bend and speed but the power and hands combined with the variety of moves he has can also win him reps. Run defense we mentioned his never ending motor and his ability to shoot gaps this all ties in with this ability to track the ball carrier and tackle him, Anderson is patient and has great vision allowing the run plays to develop he’s able to react fast bring down the ball carrier, when shooting through the gaps he can overwhelm the ball carrier using his length and speed to bring down his man. Anderson posses a great feel for the game and can read run plays incredibly well he is a very disciplined defender and can be a strong point of attack defender  

Run Defense: 95/100

Pass rush moves & hands: 95/100

Defensive IQ: 98/100

Negatives of Will Anderson –

Watching Will Anderson on tape it is hard to settle on things he lacks or simply does not do well enough, I wouldn’t really call this negative but it is something to question and think about, Will Anderson size is not a major negative but in comparison to some pass rushers we have seen, Bosa brothers, Chase Young, Myles Garrett, Aidan Hutchinson, Josh Allen. Anderson has a smaller frame and weighs around 20lbs less than these guys, Could Will Anderson potentially fill out and add more mass becoming even more dominant? Will Anderson inside rushing, I’d like to see Will Anderson rushing on the inside using his hands more keeping it consistent with counter moves against linemen whether it is inside and outside.

Overall Grade: 97/100

PFF Grades 2022:

Defense: 83.6

Run Defense: 86.7

Tackles: 46.6

Pass rush: 85.8

Coverage: 56.5

Round stock – Round 1 / top 3 pick

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