Texans have shot at next Von Miller with Alabama’s Will Anderson in 2023 NFL draft

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The Houston Texans never had a shot at Texas A&M’s Von Miller. The DeSoto High School product went No. 2 overall to the Denver Broncos in the 2011 NFL draft.

Houston’s No. 11 overall pick did not disappoint as defensive end J.J. Watt from Wisconsin went on to earn three NFL Defensive Player of the Year awards while with the Texans from 2011-20.

In the 2023 NFL draft, there doesn’t appear to be another Watt for the taking, but there could be a rendition of Miller.

According to Daniel Jeremiah from the NFL Network, Alabama edge defender Will Anderson is the best of the class, and the 2022 college season has yet to kickoff.

Biggest takeaway: I could make a 20-minute highlight tape of impressive defensive snaps from Anderson during the 2021 season. However, I was most blown away by his performance on extra-point attempts. I know that sounds crazy, but it’s true. Having worked with one of Bill Belichick’s top scouts, I know the importance the Patriots head coach places on that play. It tells you everything about the competitiveness of a player. After giving up a touchdown, you often see defensive players give marginal effort on extra-point tries. Anderson, despite being the most talented player in college football, plays harder than anyone else on the field during what some would consider a meaningless snap. I asked a source at Alabama about his character and he told me, “That’s the best thing about him.” It’s rare to find a player with his combination of talent and intangibles. Special!

Jeremiah mentioned that Anderson reminded him on Miller with his long arms, ability to setup blockers and finish, and also their dynamic play on the backside against the run. Both also have comparable power, in Jeremiah’s view.

In mock drafts, the Texans are generally taking a quarterback because their proprietary pick is so high due to Houston’s putrid 2023 record. However, it may be the case that their extra pick obtained from the Cleveland Browns is so high due to the Browns’ instability at quarterback. Either way, general manager Nick Caserio should have the capital to build a trade package to go get Anderson, if edge rusher is viewed as the missing piece on defense.

It is also worth noting that the Texans took two Alabama players in the top-100 of the 2022 NFL draft in receiver John Metchie and linebacker Christian Harris. If Caserio believes a Crimson Tide product will help, history has proven he will flip the switch.