CBS Sports compares Will Anderson to Khalil Mack
Alabama outside linebacker Will Anderson drew comparisons to the Los Angeles Chargers Khalil Mack in a recent CBS Sports article.
Anderson was a relentless force coming off the edge in 2021, leading the country in sacks (17.5) and tackles for loss (34.5). He won the Naguski Award, awarded to the best defensive player in college football and earned SEC Defensive Player of the Year and unanimous All-American honors. The rising junior has registered 24.5 sacks in 28 career games for the Crimson Tide.
Since entering the NFL in 2014, Mack has been one of the league’s premier pass rushers. The former fifth overall pick has been selected to the Pro Bowl six times, earned first-team All-Pro honors three times, was the Defensive Player of the Year in 2016 and named to the NFL 2010s All-Decade Team.
“Mack was 6-3 and 251 pounds at the 2014 combine. Not large for an edge rusher. But he has routinely moved NFL offensive tackles like he's 6-7, 275 from the beginning stages of his pro career. Immense, natural strength. Anderson has that type of people-moving power, too, in a comparable frame.”
“Mack has burst, bend, and a requisite amount of pass-rush moves to round out his game as one of football's most complete edge rushers, and he uses his shockingly strong arms to dominate against the run, too. All that applies to Anderson, who will enter this college football season as the most well-rounded defender in the nation.”
The Hampton, Ga. native is virtually a lock to be the first defensive player selected in the 2023 NFL draft. He leads an Alabama defense that he believes will resemble the likes of the unit in 2016. That season Alabama was No. 1 in scoring defense, No. 1 in rushing defense, and tied for No. 1 in total defense.
"I think this year is gonna be something special," Anderson said after the intersquad scrimmage, "You guys talk about the 2016 defense's pass rush, I feel like you guys are definitely getting ready to see that again because we have a lot of talented young guys on the edge and the D-line room."