*Walt taking 2014 and 2018
Charlie Campbell, Senior Draft Analyst
Some Evaluators Prefer Tyree Wilson Over Will AndersonUpdated Jan. 23, 2023
By Charlie Campbell. Follow Charlie on Twitter @draftcampbell.
A year ago at this time, Georgia defensive end Travon Walker was not being projected as the No. 1-overall pick in 2022 NFL Mock Drafts. Many in the media were projecting the Jacksonville Jaguars to take Alabama offensive tackle Evan Neal with the first pick at this time, although WalterFootball.com had the team taking Aidan Hutchinson before the final weeks. The same sources that tipped off WalterFootball.com that the Jaguars were going to hire Doug Pederson as their head coach and bring back Cam Robinson at left tackle, said Jacksonville was more inclined to address the defensive line at the top of the first round. Thus, we knew not to mock Neal to the Jaguars.
In the final months before the 2022 NFL Draft, Walker became a hot prospect thanks to his big-time skill set and his upside. Walker ended up overtaking Michigan edge rusher Aidan Hutchinson and Oregon edge rusher Kayvon Thibodeaux to be the top pick in that draft.
This year, some team sources think a similar dynamic could play out as well because there are some scouts and team directors who prefer Texas Tech defensive end Tyree Wilson over Alabama edge rusher Will Anderson. The reasons parallel those of 2022. Like Walker compared to Hutchinson and Thibodeaux, Wilson has more length than Anderson as Wilson is taller with longer arms. Those evaluators also feel Wilson (6-6, 275) possesses more athletic upside given his combination of size, speed and athleticism. Meanwhile, team evaluators feel that Anderson (6-4, 235) has a skill set lacking dynamic speed, size, power or athleticism.
We are still very early in the process for the 2023 NFL Draft, but Wilson being a riser and this year’s Travon Walker is possible according to team sources. That means Wilson will be a prospect to watch in the months to come.