Will Anderson Jr. may be one of the best pass rushers in the history of college football, and the Arizona Cardinals would do well to realize it.
How good was Will Anderson Jr. during his 2022 season at the University of Alabama? In 41 career games, Anderson had 34 sacks and 58.5 tackles for loss. The Arizona Cardinals desperately need an edge rusher, but to get one with run-stuffing ability? That’s a bonus.
Last season was actually a “down year” for Anderson, as he logged 51 tackles, 17 for loss, and 10 sacks. But if I remember correctly, Cleveland Browns star Myles Garrett also had a “down year” during his final season in college.
So Anderson’s drop in production shouldn’t be much of an issue. It’s also worth pointing out that the kid had 52 tackles, 10 for loss, and 7 sacks during his 2020 season, and that was his “worst” season. And best yet, check out the following Tweet from PFF College:
Arizona Cardinals cannot pass up on Will Anderson Jr.
While standing pat at the third overall pick and not trading down will likely keep the Cardinals draft haul small this season, could you imagine a guy like Anderson on the field with the likes of Zaven Collins, Isaiah Simmons, Zach Allen (if re-signed), Budda Baker, Jalen Thompson, Byron Murphy (if re-signed), and Marco Wilson?
I just named seven players off the bat, and Anderson makes eight for a defense full of young talent at most positions. Sure, depth is thin, but you have a superstar in Baker, a star in Thompson, a rising star in Wilson, and two players steadily on the rise in Collins and Simmons.
No, Anderson isn’t the missing piece that will make this defense click. They may need to address the other edge position unless they think Cam Thomas and Myjai Sanders will suffice (and they are no slouches), defensive tackle can use an upgrade, and it wouldn’t hurt them to sign a third corner.
But Anderson will take this defense to the next level. He is a can’t-miss type of prospect who will hear his name called in the top five when April 27th rolls around. Monti Ossenfort, make it happen.
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