Potential first overall pick Will Anderson says he’d never sit out to stay healthy for the draft

Alabama pass rusher Will Anderson probably would have been the first overall pick in this year’s NFL draft if not for the NFL rule requiring players to be three years out of high school before they can turn pro. Anderson has shown so much to NFL scouts already that there’s not much he can do this season to improve his draft stock, but there is one thing he could do to harm his draft stock: get injured.

Given that, Anderson might be tempted to sit out the 2022 college football season to keep himself healthy for the NFL. But Anderson says that’s not a consideration.

“Oh no,” he said, via TheAthletic.com. “That’s not how I am. I love football too much. I can’t sit out a year and not play football.”

Now that college players can profit off their names, images and likenesses, Anderson can make some money at Alabama, though nothing close to what he’ll make in the NFL.

“I’ve been doing NIL deals,” Anderson said. “I know during the season I told you guys I wasn’t going to be doing any deals, but I actually just started my own brand and it’s called A3 Athlete. I take control of my own brand, you know, with the whole NIL thing. It was kind of overwhelming at first because you don’t know a lot of the verbiage and terminology when it comes to deals. So with this A3 Athlete, it’s going to help players such as myself or younger players under me come together with my advisory team or with people on my team and help go over contracts. Go over those different things to take the load off for you and your family to read over everything that’s going on.”

The rule requiring players to wait three years after high school to play in the NFL is a raw deal for players like Anderson, who should be getting ready for an NFL training camp right now. But NIL makes the rule a little easier to stomach.