Bears Draft Target: Will Anderson Jr.
Mark Rebilas - USA Today Sports

Bears Draft Target: Will Anderson Jr.

by - Senior Writer -

When it comes to the Chicago Bears and the No. 1 pick this season, all options should be considered. No, I am not saying to draft Bryce Young and trade away Justin Fields, but they should at least do their homework on the top-tier QBs to potentially drive up the price in trades.

Unless the Bears are sold on a particular player that they think someone behind them will take, it almost doesn't make sense that they keep the No. 1 pick. With teams like Houston and Indianapolis behind them that need a QB, seeing the Bears trade back wouldn't be a surprise as they would not only keep a first-round pick, but could potentially gain more picks and players in the process.

Regardless of what the Bears do, their decision will drastically affect what this franchise will do going forward, as this is the first big move Ryan Poles will be making as a Bears GM. While there are debates about who is the deserving No. 1 overall selection, Will Anderson Jr is the one of the best prospects in this class and should be the Bears' go-to target.

For a team lacking pass-rushing ability, Anderson hails from the University of Alabama, where he has been one of the more dominant edge rushers in college. At 6-4 and weighing 243 pounds, Anderson Jr is the ideal size to be a successful Edge rusher at the next level and is precisely the type of player this Bears defense could use.

Looking back on this season alone, Anderson recorded 28 tackles, with nearly half of those coming as a tackle for loss. He added 12 QB hits and, most importantly, 10 sacks, as he was a menace all season. Throughout his collegiate career, Anderson has been one of this era's most recognizable and decorated defensive prospects.

He has been putting up numbers that many can believe, and he does it on such a consistent basis that it is scary. During his career at Alabama, Anderson has been named a two-time All-American, a two-time Nagurski Award winner, and a Bednarik Award winner. Anderson finished his career with 34.5 sacks and 62 tackles for loss, trailing only Derrick Thomas in school history. We all know the player Derrick Thomas turned out to be, so that is some elite company to be linked with.

When you watch Anderson on film, he seems a step faster than everyone else, and there is a ton to love about him. He is a high-energy, athletic player who plays with his hair on fire. He will give you 100% on every play and will only stop once that whistle sounds.

Not only has he been one of the better players at getting sacks, but he has shown plenty of versatility when it comes to stopping the run. You don't always have that in an EDGE rush player, so to see Anderson Jr provide that is a pleasant surprise. One thing you can't teach a player is their character on the field, and Anderson Jr is the type of leader to lead a defense.

As expected, there are some negatives surrounding him, but not as many as you would think. One of the knocks on him stems from being a position-specific player. Given his size, Anderson Jr will be an Edge rusher as he is too small to be a LB or DL. Even if he added weight, you may want to avoid moving him to the LB, as it could take away some of the explosiveness that has made him successful.

You also have a player who still needs to work on his pass-rushing techniques despite putting up the numbers he has. Anderson Jr has gotten away with being more athletic than most players he has gone against in college. Once he gets to the NFL, he will need to develop more in terms of what he can do to get to the QB.

Player Comparison Von Miller

When it comes to an NFL player today that you could compare Anderson to, look no further than Von Miller. The long-time NFL LB/Edge has been one of the best pass rushers over the past decade, and his production will land him in the hall of fame consideration before all is said and done.

Miller is the type of player that defensive coaches need to pay attention to as they need to know where he is on the field. Anderson Jr is similar to that at the collegiate level, and if things pan out, he could be that guy in the NFL too.

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