Nick Saban details what makes Will Anderson a perfect top-5 draft pick
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He handled his business at the NFL Scouting Combine, so Will Anderson used Alabama’s Pro Day to cheer on his teammates.
In three seasons as a starter, he compiled 34.5 sacks and 62 tackles for loss.
Anderson was arguably the most dominant defensive player in college football. He won the Bronko Nagurski Award twice and twice earned SEC’s Defensive Player of the Year. He earned the Lott IMPACT Trophy, the Rotary Lombardi Trophy, and the Chuck Bednarik Award last season. Anderson became the first Alabama player to be a two-time Unanimous All-American.
RELATED: Will Anderson raves about DeMeco Ryans, Houston Texans at Pro Day
He posted double-digit sack numbers in 2021 and 2022, including 10 sacks last year.
Several teams at the top of next month’s NFL Draft are starving for a quarterback. Anderson is one of few defensive players considered for a top-5 grade. Elite pass rushers have become a need in the league behind quarterbacks and wide receivers.
People see Anderson’s dominance on tape, but Nick Saban detailed for media outlets on Thursday what makes the former five-star a perfect top-5 draft selection. Anderson assisted the Crimson Tide to an undefeated College Football Playoff National Championship in 2020 as a freshman. He earned two SEC Championship rings during his time in Tuscaloosa, Ala.
“He has great size and great ability as a pass rusher, but you are also talking about someone who is a great person,” Saban said about Anderson. “He has throwback competitive character, in terms of toughness, leadership, and character. He plays winning football and helps others on the team play winning football. I cannot say enough good things about Will Anderson.”
Anderson could have played on some of the earlier defenses in the Saban era.
He enjoyed his meeting the Houston Texans, but the Arizona Cardinals are another team interested in him.
We will see what team Anderson lands on.
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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.