Will Anderson

NFL Draft: How far can the Chicago Bears trade back and still land Will Anderson Jr.?

Alabama edge rusher Will Anderson Jr. is exactly the kind of blue-chip pass rusher the Chicago Bears defense desperately needs. He’s been considered a contender for the first pick in the NFL Draft since his true freshman season, and when the Bears secured the No. 1 overall in the 2023 NFL draft, Anderson was a popular pick for Chicago in early mock drafts.

But as with every NFL Draft season, elite players’ stock always suffers from draft fatigue. It’s a syndrome that annually plagues draft analysts around NFL Combine time. Those elite prospects who’ve long been viewed as plug-and-play can’t-miss starters begin accumulating doubts and ‘cons’ in their evaluation, and their place atop mock drafts begins to slide.

It’s beginning to happen with Will Anderson, who, in Daniel Jeremiah’s latest mock draft, isn’t the first edger defender drafted. That distinction belongs to Texas Tech’s Tyree Wilson, who comes off the board at No. 3 to the Arizona Cardinals.

First edge rusher off the board? Over Will Anderson Jr.?!?,” Jeremiah wrote. “There’s a lot of love for Wilson around the league. His combination of size, length and production has teams very intrigued.”

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