There is a lot of change going on in Will Anderson’s life right now. The former Alabama superstar was drafted third overall in the 2023 NFL Draft by the Houston Texans, marking his transition to the NFL.
That transition will come with a position change. Anderson is moving from linebacker to defensive end with the Texans.
“I’m super excited, but just to do anything they need from me for the team,” Anderson said, via Texans.com.
Anderson was an accolade machine at Alabama. He won back-to-back SEC Defensive Player of the Year Awards in 2021 and 2022. The only other player to win two SEC Defensive Player of the Year awards was former Georgia defensive end David Pollack.
His new head coach, DeMeco Ryans, won the 2005 SEC Defensive Player of the Year award at Alabama.
Ryans is not worried at all about changing Anderson’s position.
“It’s not a huge position change for Will,” Ryans said. “Will will be an edge defender for us, and that’s what he did at Alabama. Mostly at Alabama he was standing up; we’ll have him down in a three-point stance. It’s not a big time position change for him.
Anderson was also a two-time unanimous All-American and two-time Bronko Nagurski Trophy award winner as an EDGE rusher for the Crimson Tide. He finished his college career with 34.5 sacks and 58.5 tackles for loss.
The Georgia native is second all-time in Alabama history in sacks behind Hall of Famer Derrick Thomas.
Will Anderson is a key part of the Houston Texans rebuild
Whether the Houston Texans rebuild will succeed will hinge on how successful its 2023 draft class ends up.
Houston selected at No. 2 and No. 3 overall, trading up for the third pick in a deal with the Arizona Cardinals.
The Texans selected their quarterback of the future, C.J. Stroud, at No. 2 overall. Then they picked Anderson with the hopes of him being a defensive cornerstone for the next decade.
The Texans also selected Penn State center Juice Scruggs, Houston wide receiver Nathaniel Dell, TCU defensive end Dylan Horton, Alabama linebacker Henry To’oto’o, Notre Dame center Jarrett Patterson, Iowa State wide receiver Xavier Hutchinson and Pittsburgh safety Brandon Hill.
Houston has missed the playoffs for the last three seasons. Ryans is their fifth coach, including one interim coach, since 2020.
The Texans have made the playoffs six times in their history, each time as the winner of the AFC South.