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Draft Coverage

Meet the Prospect: Will Anderson Jr.

Name: Will Anderson Jr.

Position: Edge rusher

School: Alabama

Ht/Wt: 6-3, 253

40-yard dash: 4.6 seconds

Bench: Did not bench

Vertical: Did not jump

Broad: Did not jump

3-cone: Did not run

20-yard shuttle: Did not run

View photos of NFL prospect Will Anderson Jr.

How he fits: Anderson started 13 games as a freshman at Alabama, which isn't the norm in that program and speaks to his immense talent. He earned the nickname "The Terminator" during his sophomore year as he won the Bronko Nagurski Trophy as the nation's top defender.

The production and versatility really stand out with Anderson, who finished his three-year career (41 games) with 58.8 tackles for loss and 34.5 sacks.

The Lions have a few good, young pass rushers they are excited about, led by Defensive Rookie of the Year runner-up Aidan Hutchinson, along with a few veterans like John Cominsky and Charles Harris, but teams can never have enough good pass rushers.

Anderson can stand up or put his hand in the dirt and play up and down the defensive front. He's the full package as a pass rusher with length, great hands, good technique and a toolbox of pass-rush moves.

Key observations: Anderson's 207 career pressures are 55 more than the next closest defender over the past three years, and his 37 sacks are 10 more, per Pro Football Focus statistics. His 91.5 run-defense grade over that span trails only Hutchinson when he was at Michigan among FBS edge defenders.

What they had to say about him: "Anderson is a long, athletic edge rusher with excellent power and production. Against the pass, he is at his best when he's wide on the edge and has a runway. He can win with his suddenness/speed or transfer that speed into power and run through offensive tackles. He also has a good feel for an up-and-under move when the OT oversets to the outside.

"He does need to work on escaping when he doesn't win early in the down, as he gets stuck at times. Against the run, he uses his length to stack blocks and make his way to the ball. He has the speed to chase and make plays from the back side. Overall, Anderson isn't a super loose/bendy edge rusher, but his combination of speed, power and instincts should translate into double-digit sacks at the next level. – Daniel Jeremiah, NFL draft analyst

Go behind the scenes with the Detroit Lions during 2023 free agency.

How he stacks up: It's pretty much a consensus across the board that Anderson is one of the best overall players in this class. Jeremiah, The Athletic's Dane Brugler and ESPN's Scouts Inc. all list Anderson as the No. 2 prospect in the class behind Alabama quarterback Bryce Young.

Pro Football Focus lists him as the No. 3 prospect behind Young and Georgia defensive tackle Jalen Carter.

What he had to say: "Being at Alabama made me very versatile. Dropping in coverage. All that type of stuff," Anderson told reporters at the NFL Scouting Combine. "Helping me work, pass rush moves and run. So when I dissect myself I see myself as a versatile player who can do just about anything but that's thanks to Coach Saban you know. He trusted me a lot. He's seen a lot in me. The potential. It helped me mold the player I am today so when I look back at myself, I feel like Alabama made me a very versatile player."

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