As one of the best linebackers in the country, It’s almost a certainty that Alabama’s Will Anderson Jr will be drafted in the first round of the 2023 NFL Draft. Every week, he’s making plays off the edge and attacking the quarterback with consistency. In this 2023 NFL Draft scouting report, we’ll breakdown what makes Will Anderson Jr such a coveted prospect. Additionally, we’ll look at a 40 time, injury history, full scouting report breakdown, and a future projection for Will Anderson Jr.
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Will Anderson Jr 40 Time
Currently, I have Will Anderson Jr poised for a 40 time in the high 4.4 range, such as a 4.47. On film, Anderson has very good quickness and acceleration off the line of scrimmage, as well as a very solid top gear. As a result, he should be near the top of the charts at the 2023 NFL Combine, should he elect to participate in those drills. Worst case scenario for Will Anderson Jr in the 40 yard dash would be a 40 time in the high 4.5 range, which would still come in above the league average.
Will Anderson Jr Injury History
In the 2021 season opener against Mercer, Will Anderson Jr suffered a knee injury. However, it was not serious and he did not miss playing time as a result. Therefore, it should be noted that Will Anderson has a clean injury history.
Will Anderson Jr Scouting Report
- High-Motor Player
- Excellent Bend And Quickness Off The Edge
- Fantastic Hand Placement Versus Offensive Linemen
- Inconsistent Burst And Acceleration To Attack Ball Carriers Upfield
- Lacks A Wide Array Of Tools To Beat Offensive Linemen
- His Quickness To Attack Outside Runs Could Be Improved
Will Anderson Jr is a three-year linebacker for the Alabama Crimson Tide. He was a consensus four-star prospect coming out of high school. Considered by many draft analysts to be the top linebacker in the 2023 NFL Draft class. Has very good height and solid weight for the linebacker position in the NFL. His predicted 40 time of a high 4.4 to low 4.5 would be a tenth or two above the league average.
Displays good quickness and bend off the edge. Shows a good ability to read and diagnose plays at the line of scrimmage. Has solid range to bring down the ball carrier in traffic at the point of attack. His hand placement to establish and maintain leverage throughout the rep is good. Anderson is a high-motor player that finds his way to penetrate the pocket and attack the ball consistently. When out in space, he displays a solid ability to mirror his target in the flats. Keeps his pad level low and drives through interior offensive linemen from the edge position.
Will Anderson Jr has an adequate and inconsistent burst and acceleration to get upfield and attack the ball carrier. While he often finds ways to win off the edge, he lacks a full array of tools to beat offensive linemen that others at his level possess. Finally, I’d like to see him attack runs to the outside much quicker than he currently shows on film.
Will Anderson Jr NFL Draft Projection
In my opinion, Will Anderson Jr is a top five pick in the 2023 NFL Draft. When looking at the current 2023 NFL Draft order, the top three teams could certainly look at Anderson Jr. The Houston Texans could groom Will Anderson Jr to take over for Jerry Hughes when his contract is up at the end of next season. With the Las Vegas Raiders and Carolina Panthers, they both could look to line him up opposite of their star pass rushers, in Maxx Crosby and Brian Burns, respectively.
If Will Anderson Jr falls out of the top five in the 2023 NFL Draft, the Chicago Bears and Seattle Seahawks also make sense.