ESPN's Mel Kiper Jr. has an Alabama player as his No. 1 prospect for the 2023 NFL Draft, but it's not quarterback Bryce Young.
Kiper unveiled his 2023 Big Board earlier today, with Alabama pass rusher Will Anderson Jr. occupying the top spot.
"Anderson is a dominant and unique edge rusher who might have been the No. 1 overall pick in April if he had been eligible for the draft," Kiper wrote. "He doesn't take plays off, is versatile and made several impressive plays against the run."
This morning, Kiper appeared on SportsCenter and reiterated that while a quarterback might go No. 1 overall next April, Anderson will be "tough to unseat' as the top player in the draft.
“What a football player Will Anderson Jr. is. It’s going to be tough to unseat him as the No. 1 overall player," Kiper said. "The No. 1 pick will be determined by need, but with Will Anderson Jr., what’s not to like?”
A former five-star prospect, Anderson recorded 101 tackles, including 31 for loss, 17.5 sacks and an absurd 79 pressures in 2021. This comes after he posted 52 tackles and 7.5 sacks as a true freshman.
In addition to being a candidate for the No. 1 overall pick in the 2023 draft, Anderson also might have what it takes to become the first defensive player to win the Heisman Trophy since Charles Woodson in 1998.