Jahns: Is Will Anderson all the things the Bears need and want at No. 1?

INDIANAPOLIS — At 9:03 a.m. contained in the Indiana Convention Center, Alabama edge rusher Will Anderson stood on the lectern the place Georgia defensive deal with Jalen Carter was scheduled to be greater than an hour later.

“I feel like what I bring to the table: just consistency, being humble and whatever culture I’m in I’m going to do things the right way,” Anderson stated, answering his first query.

“And I think that’s what sets me apart.”

On Wednesday, so was his participation within the media portion of the NFL Scouting Combine.

At 9:58 a.m., Seth Emerson, who covers Georgia for The Athletic, first shared the announcement that the Athens-Clarke County Police Department secured an arrest warrant for Carter for his alleged position in a Jan. 15 automotive crash that killed teammate Devin Willock and recruiting staffer Chandler LeCroy. According to police, Carter might be charged with reckless driving and racing, each misdemeanors.

Earlier within the week, Bears common supervisor Ryan Poles alluded to potential unexpected circumstances the Bears must “adapt and adjust to.” This actually applies. The Carter story grew to become the speak of the mix Wednesday. Carter released a statement on social media responding to the arrest warrant being issued, concluding with: “There is no question in my mind that when all of the facts are known that I will be fully exonerated of any criminal wrongdoing.”

From a soccer standpoint, there was a debate about whether or not Anderson or Carter is one of the best non-quarterback within the NFL Draft this 12 months. Considering how necessary the three-technique defensive deal with is for the Bears protection, Carter was linked to the Bears typically and have become a well-liked choose in mock drafts.

Everything is completely different now.

For the Bears, it might be Anderson after which everybody else, although Texas Tech defensive finish Tyree Wilson additionally seems to be all the things they might need when it comes to his bodily profile and character. Both gamers met with the Bears in Indianapolis.

“It went really good,” Anderson stated. “I went in there, watched a couple of tapes, really just got to know me, got to know them. And the culture is great there and I can tell that they’re on to something special.”

The Bears, who fielded the worst pass-rushing protection within the league final season, should contemplate whether or not Anderson is particular sufficient to contemplate with the primary choose or if their “leaning” towards buying and selling again evolves into a powerful desire in mild of the Carter information. The risk of buying and selling again to No. 4 with the Colts and nonetheless having the ability to choose both Anderson and Carter is now extra sophisticated.


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Wilson or top-of-the-line offensive linemen might substitute Carter in that state of affairs, however the Bears aren’t there but. As Poles stated Tuesday, their draft board isn’t near finalized. That occurs after the mix and after extra is realized concerning the high prospects.

On Wednesday, Anderson mentioned which gamers he modeled his model after (Nick Bosa, Von Miller and Khalil Mack), credited his mom for holding him humble and detailed how watching his 5 older sisters (Shawnta, Shanice, Chyna, Endia and Teria) play sports activities helped mildew him.

His nickname was the Terminator at Alabama, and he hopes it follows him to the NFL.

“I got to earn it when I get there,” he stated.

Does Bears coach Matt Eberflus view Alabama edge rusher Will Anderson because the prize of the draft? (Stacy Revere / Getty Images)

The longer Anderson talked, the extra he appeared like a participant the Bears would covet. Coach Matt Eberflus desires “big, long and fast” gamers for his line of defense — stipulations that Anderson meets — however a prospect’s ardour for soccer additionally might be judged.

“For me, nothing has to motivate me to get ready to go play a football game,” Anderson stated. “It’s already in me. That’s how much I love the game. The biggest thing for me is jumping up and down with my brothers. Celebrating making plays. That’s what football is all about, and that’s why I love it because you get to make memories with those guys in the locker room and long-lasting relationships with those guys, and that’s why I love the game so much.”

That love is straightforward to see on the sphere. Or it needs to be. Anderson isn’t a prospect who requires a lot projection in terms of manufacturing. He had it in faculty, making 34 1/2 sacks and 62 tackles for loss over three seasons. His 2022 manufacturing was a down 12 months by his All-America, Bronko Nagurski Trophy-winning requirements (17 1/2 sacks to 10), however his numbers have been nonetheless higher than different prospects’ bests.


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Anderson seemingly possesses what Eberflus seeks from his edge rushers. The Bears coach was particular about these traits when requested about them Tuesday.

“I’d just say the ability to turn the corner,” Eberflus stated. “Most guys, once they begin their rush, once they get to the transfer space, those that may’t get there, they begin working away from the quarterback. The ones that do have all the things pointing — their hips, their toes, their knees — all the things towards the quarterback … they’ve the flexibility to work their transfer across the edge.

“And then when they get past the quarterback, they have the strength to work back inside. Obviously, you have to have great athleticism, and then great get-off helps, too. Those are the things we look for.”

And the Bears don’t should look any additional than Anderson in the event that they don’t need to. They could make him the primary choose of the draft.

(Top photograph: Justin Casterline / Getty Images)

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