Houston Texans' Will Anderson Jr. ranked in top-5 of most impactful defenders this offseason

Houston Texans
Houston Texans / Alex Bierens de Haan/GettyImages

When the Houston Texans selected Alabama Crimson Tide star defensive end Will Anderson Jr, they did so with the hopes of him becoming a cornerstone defender.

While the Houston Texans got some flak for their bold trade-up to select the former Crimson Tide star, some have projected him to be one of the most impactful defenders in this offseason cycle. Recently, Bleacher Report's Alex Kay wrote an article ranking the most impactful additions to NFL defenses after free agency in the 2023 NFL draft.

When the Texans selected Anderson, I was ecstatic that the team prioritized a premium position with such a solid prospect. Anderson produced a PFF grade of 89.8 in 2021 and 83.6 in 2022. Per PFF, 81% of the time Anderson rushed the passer, he ended that play with either a TFL, sack, QB hit, or QB pressure. That means four out of every five plays, Anderson made an impact. Statistically speaking, the Crimson Tide star racked up 207 total pressures in three years at Alabama. 

In the article, Kay listed the Houston Texans' acquisition of Anderson Jr as the fourth most impactful addition to an NFL defense. He had the following to say:

"Will Anderson Jr., the first defensive player off the board in the 2023 draft, has a chance to become a generational player for the Houston Texans. He was the highest-rated player on the Bleacher Report Scouting Department's big board following a decorated career at Alabama. As a result, he should have little issue translating his elite pass-rushing skills to the next level."

Alex Kay

When the Houston Texans selected Anderson Jr., they did so with new head coach DeMeco Ryans' vision overseeing it. Anderson Jr. was most draft sites' number-one overall player, primarily due to his collegiate success and projectability. I'm sure Ryans, a former Crimson Tide NFL defensive rookie of the Year, saw not only the potential in Anderson Jr. from his collegiate tape but also his projectability. So, who does Anderson remind Ryans of? Possibly none other than his former star defender with the San Francisco 49ers, Nick Bosa.

The Houston Texans hope that Anderson can turn into a player like the former 49ers' defensive coordinator's star pass rusher. If he does, he could be one of the most impactful defenders and players for the Texans.