NFL Draft Notes: Will Anderson Jr., Will Levis, C.J. Stroud

NFL Media’s Daniel Jeremiah is taking an early look at some of the top prospects to watch this upcoming college football season and for the 2023 NFL Draft. 

Will Anderson Jr.

  • Alabama DE Will Anderson Jr. was one of college football’s most fearsome defenders last season and media perception is that he would have been the consensus No. 1 pick in this past draft if he had been eligible. Jeremiah says the substance matches the hype, and Anderson is an immensely talented prospect. 
  • He adds Anderson has an explosive first step, long arms and is devastating if he gets a runway into an offensive tackle, converting speed to power extraordinarily well. His strength shows up in the run game as well. 
  • Jeremiah notes Anderson performed well when asked to drop back into coverage by Alabama, showcasing versatility to play as an outside linebacker in odd front defenses. 
  • If there are any nits to pick, Jeremiah says Anderson’s speed isn’t elite, though his effort is, and he can occasionally be sealed off by down blocks in the run game when he’s tighter to the ball. 
  • Overall, Jeremiah compares Anderson to Bills OLB Von Miller, with Miller having more bend to his game but Anderson having more power. 

Will Levis

  • The 2023 quarterback class is expected to be much better than 2022 and Kentucky QB Will Levis is one of the prospects scouts are eyeing as a potential first-rounder. Jeremiah writes the redshirt senior has the size, athleticism and arm strength the NFL is looking for and broke out with a big season in 2022. 
  • Kentucky’s offense was heavy on the screen passes at times, but Jeremiah says Levis’ arm strength still stood out when asked to push the ball vertically. He also praised Levis’ toughness as a runner. 
  • However, Jeremiah noticed some mechanical issues that contributed to problems for Levis, including a bumpy throwing motion and aligning his body when throwing to his left. Levis had 13 interceptions and has been criticized for his decision-making, but apart from one really bad forced throw that resulted in a pick-six, Jeremiah didn’t see that as a big problem. 
  • Overall, Jeremiah would use “rugged” as a one-word description for Levis’ game and says there are some similarities to Cowboys QB Dak Prescott if Levis can also make major improvements in his senior season. 

C.J. Stroud

  • Ohio State QB C.J. Stroud is already seen as a probable first-round pick and someone who could push into the top five of the 2023 NFL Draft. Jeremiah highlights Stroud’s poise, size and production as strong points of his game. He adds Stroud has a good feel on touch throws especially. 
  • While Stroud’s poise and ability to manage the game are excellent, Jeremiah would like to see him play with more creativity. He’s not an elite athlete and doesn’t have a high-powered arm, although Jeremiah points out his anticipation as a thrower is so good he doesn’t need it. 
  • Jeremiah says he’s been told Stroud is outstanding from an intangibles perspective. He compares him to Patriots QB Mac Jones as passers with outstanding touch and a good mental feel for the game even if they lack outstanding athletic traits. 

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