4/27/22: Anderson was charged with rape in November and turned himself into the police. He has vehemently denied the accusation, and some team sources believe Anderson is innocent and could get acquitted. If Anderson is exonerated, he could return to being an early-round pick, but right now, it looks like he would be a late-round pick or undrafted free agent until his legal situation is resolved. Anderson had an impressive pro-day workout, and his lawyer is seeking the dismissal of the charges.
Multiple team sources who said they had spoken to recent Georgia staffers and recent former teammates of Anderson all reported those around the Bulldogs program were surprised and didn't believe he was that kind of guy. He had the reputation of being a good guy and teammate. As Deshaun Watson and others have proven, however, nobody knows for sure what people will do privately. Some team sources are wondering about the timing as the incident occurred the night before the Georgia game versus Florida. Sources are wondering why Anderson was at home and not at the team hotel. They wonder and question if he snuck out after curfew and bed check, so Anderson's situation is a huge mess for his draft stock. If he is innocent, this could be a situation like La'el Collins', where a first-round talent becomes a late-round steal.
In 2021, Anderson totaled 32 tackles and five sacks despite limited opportunities. He was a dynamic pass rusher and showed improved run defense. Anderson looked significantly better against the run in the games against Arkansas and Kentucky. Early on, WalterFootball.com caught up with a director of college scouting from a playoff team that is one of the best drafting teams in the NFL, and here is what they had to say about Anderson prior to the off-the-field trouble:
"Talk about holding a guy back; Georgia is definitely doing that. You're correct in his get-off being reminiscent of Von Miller at Texas A&M. Anderson should be a top-10 or top-15 pick if he keeps playing like he did against Clemson.
"He's only 230 pounds and really struggles to add weight because of a high metabolism. That's why Georgia says they don't start him. [Shrug emoji]"
A director of player personnel sent the following on Anderson earlier in the year: "I think he's a first-rounder; I haven't done enough tape to finalize how high, but he has all the traits."
Not all evaluators were high on Anderson because of him being a backup and rotational player. Here is what one area scout said about Anderson around the same time, "I think he goes in the first, but I wouldn't take him in the first because of his run defense and he's just a designated pass rusher. He is a freak athlete though and a special pass rusher. He is going to be freak at the combine and pro day. I wouldn't take a guy that high that isn't a three-down starter, but someone will take him up there though."
7/10/21: Some NFL advance scouts had Anderson with the highest preseason grade of any player on their preseason watch list. That tells you a lot about what they think of Anderson's skill set considering he enters his senior year having only been a rotational player and never having been a three-down starter. In 2020 as a part-time designated pass rusher, Anderson was tremendous at putting heat on the quarterback, collecting 6.5 sacks, two forced fumbles and a pass batted. He only recorded 14 tackles for the season, however, because Azeez Ojulari played over him on run downs.
Anderson is tremendous pass rusher who produces quarterback pressure at an insane rate. Anderson looks like a bolt of lightning off the ball with his amazing first-step. Off the snap, it is as if he has been shot out of cannon as he explodes upfield with shocking speed. On top of being very fast, Anderson shows an uncanny ability to bend his long frame. The 6-foot-4, 226-pounder needs to get stronger and improve his run defense for the NFL, but he looks like he has the potential to be a lethal pass rusher who produces some big sack totals and makes a lot of game-changing plays to limit passing attacks.