Currently, the Pittsburgh Steelers own the third overall pick in the 2023 NFL Draft. How much does that mean at this juncture? Not much, but it allows the mind to speculate on some players the Steelers could be in a rare position to take a swing at in the NFL Draft. One of those players in Alabama edge rusher Will Anderson.
Anderson is thought to be potentially the best player in the 2023 NFL Draft class, but if the Steelers get high enough, they will have a chance to land him. Through six games this season Anderson already has racked up 26 pressures, ten tackles for loss, and five sacks. In his career, he has 29.5 sacks, including 17.5 in 2021, and 51.5 tackles for loss. In other words, Anderson has been uber-productive against some of the best competition college football has to offer.
Anderson brings to the table an elite first step that rockets him onto the outside hip of an opposing offensive tackle right away. Not only that, but Anderson has both speed and power moves, allowing him to be a multi-dimensional attacking edge rusher that is rare coming out of the college game. Combine a bull rush, long arm, dip and rip, spin move, and a nasty cross-chop rip, and Anderson’s array of moves are already plentiful.
Simply out, Will Anderson is a dominant force that needs to be reckoned with on multiple accounts from every team Alabama faces. There are some warts, such as a still-developing arsenal of counter moves. It is truly rare for a player to have their cache of counter moves totally figured out by the time they enter the NFL, however.
Anderson’s fit with the Steelers scheme is great. He makes his money on a lot of twists and stunts that work him free off the edge. Pittsburgh has made a living off getting players like T.J. Watt, Alex Highsmith, and others free off the edge in order to pressure quarterbacks. Anderson would be a fantastic fit in that type of role. As a trio with Watt and Highsmith, teams would have to fear all of those players to the highest degree.
So, as he faces Tennessee and a quality NFL offensive tackle prospect in Darnell Wright, it will be key to see how he wins both on those twists, but also on straight one-on-one reps. Anderson very well may be the betting favorite to head to Pittsburgh if the Steelers stay picking this high.