Seattle Seahawks 2023 draft profile: Beastly Will Anderson
By Lee Vowell
The 2023 NFL draft is just three weeks away. If available, Will Anderson, Jr. might be the guy the Seattle Seahawks must take. In fact, if Anderson is there for the taking at pick number 5 overall and Seattle doesn't choose him, general manager John Schneider and head coach Pete Carroll better have a good answer as to why not.
Anderson, as far as being an NFL draft prospect, seems to leave zero doubts as to his ability to be a great NFL player. He has shown immense physical ability and also tested well. And the NFL combine, Anderson only participated in a couple of drills, but he did not disappoint with his results. He ran a 4.6 40-yard dash, for instance.
But if an NFL team trusts college production, especially from a player who plays in the SEC (which is the closest thing the NFL has to a minor league system), then Anderson isn't just the best non-quarterback in the draft, he is likely the best overall player. There could even be a question that Anderson wasn't as good in 2022 as in 2021 (because Anderson's statistics in 2021 are just ridiculous), yet Anderson still had 10 sacks and 17 tackles for loss in 13 games this past season. This was mostly against SEC players who will good pros one day as well.
Why the Seahawks should take Will Anderson, Jr. in 2023 draft
The Seahawks have holes on their roster. They addressed several issues in free agency, yet even the positions addressed, such as the defensive line, could be made better in the draft. Seattle likely needs to take a linebacker high in the draft, too. But a team cannot have enough great pass rushers and Anderson is that to near-perfection. But he is also great against the run.
Anderson, Jr. is going to be faster than most other edge rushers in the NFL, but he has enough effective strength to create a combination of speed and power that is extremely difficult to block consistently. Pairing Anderson with current Seahawk Uchenna Nwosu should make for one of the better pass rush combos in the league. He also has smooth movements that make his abundance of pass-rushing moves even more efficient.
Anderson should be an immediate presence in the NFL as well because while he does have high-end talent, he was also extremely well-coached at Alabama. There is likely no more NFL-ready player than Anderson. And if Seattle is lucky enough for Anderson to fall to them, the expectation shouldn't be that he is just part of the rotation in 2023 but that he is a Week 1 starter.
Why the Seahawks should pass on Will Anderson in the 2023 draft
This is probably a futile task to say why Seattle shouldn't take Anderson, but we have to find a reason or two. It could be that Seattle simply loves another player. Or maybe the Seahawks really do think they can find their future and long-term quarterback at pick 5. John Schneider knows what to look for in quarterbacks clearly (he helped choose Aaron Rodgers, Russell Wilson, and knew to stick with Geno Smith), so we just have to trust his process if Seattle goes QB.
It could be that Seattle still wants to address the defensive line and wants a player like Jalen Carter. Carter has his issues, but again, if Schneider and Pete Carroll decide to choose Carter then we have to trust the process. Schneider and Carroll have earned that.
But if Anderson is available at pick 5, Seattle, assuming they don't trade back, should choose him. Anderson should be expected to be great in the future, but might struggle a bit at the beginning simply because most rookies do. Maybe he won't have 8 sacks in year one because he has to acclimate to the NFL. But by year two? 10 sacks and 10 tackles for loss should be the low end of the norm.