Despite all the hoopla regarding the quarterbacks at the top of this year’s NFL Draft, Will Anderson Jr. was the consensus best player available on nearly every draft board.
When Houston Texans’ leaders Nick Caserio and Demeco Ryans pulled off a blockbuster trade to nab Anderson with the #3 overall pick, it was the 2023 NFL “shot heard ‘round the world”.
Some cheered, some jeered, and some even made up bogus, grandstanding storylines about how the Texans gave away their entire future for one player. But, if you knew, you knew...
Nick Caserio (via SI.com)
A part of my responsibility is to explore every alternative and option. There were discussions throughout the day with Arizona. But as soon as Arizona was on the clock, the pace of the discussion picked up. It came down to what we felt was best for the football team. It was an opportunity to get a player we thought very highly of. We knew he wasn’t going to last. We felt that adding him to our football team is something we wanted to do.
Nick Caserio and DeMeco Ryans and the Houston Texans have won the draft— Drew (@IndepthTexans) April 28, 2023
They got the top player on their board in Will Anderson and a Franchise QB in C.J Stroud
Don’t see any team beating that regardless of what happens pic.twitter.com/5jW32M7Mop
All throughout training camp and the preseason, the majority of the spotlight has fallen on rookie quarterback C.J. Stroud, wide receiver Tank Dell and the new coaching staff. Somehow, the “best player” in the 2023 NFL draft has managed to stunt under the radar and sack the spotlight.
When it comes to the Houston Texans defensive line, Anderson Jr. has some pretty big shoes that took the steps in front of him. From Mario Williams to Antonio Smith, Shaun Cody to J.J. Watt, some stellar players have lined up across the Texans d-line.
Now, Anderson Jr. gets to try and add his face to the Texans’ defensive Mount Rushmore. And he took a good first step forward this past weekend.
DE Will Anderson Jr. Vs Baltimore Ravens— Drew (@IndepthTexans) September 11, 2023
•31% pass rush win rate (4th in NFL)
What a debut for the number 3 overall pick pic.twitter.com/IYE54fzFaM
So far, it looks like the trade capital given to the Arizona Cardinals to land the #3 overall pick was well spent. And this Sunday, he gets to tee off on fellow rookie Anthony Richardson when the Texans face the Indianapolis Colts.
In the meantime, take a minute and soak in the glory of Anderson Jr’s first sack. Then let us know what you think of the rook.
Will Anderson’s first career sack was a thing of beauty. And he got held pic.twitter.com/43x395mKRP— Nick Scurfield (@NickScurfield) September 10, 2023
Will Anderson had to do a walking lunge with a 350 pound weight jacket to get that sack!— Seth Payne (@SethCPayne) September 10, 2023