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Will Anderson Jr. won the NFL Defensive Rookie of the Year award, the first Houston Texans player to win the award since 2009 and the third in franchise history. Anderson's head coach, DeMeco Ryans, won the award for the Texans in 2006 and Brian Cushing captured the award in 2009. Anderson claimed the award Thursday at the 13th annual NFL Honors in Las Vegas. The Texans swept the rookie awards, with quarterback C.J. Stroud winning Offensive Rookie of the Year.

Anderson finished with 59 pressures on the season, the third-most by a rookie over the last five seasons -- trailing only Nick Bosa (80 in 2009) and Micah Parsons (67 in 2021). Anderson finished with 45 tackles, 10 tackles for loss, 22 quarterback hits, 7.0 sacks, and a pass defensed in 15 games -- leading a Texans defense that improved from 24.7 points per game allowed in 2022 to 20.8 points per game allowed in 2023.

Anderson was also the first Texans rookie to block a field goal since J.J. Watt in 2011, accomplishing the feat in Week 3 against the Jacksonville Jaguars. He finished fourth in sacks amongst rookies and was just the third rookie to post two-plus sacks, four-plus quarterback hits, two-plus tackles for loss, and a pass defensed in a game in NFL history in a Week 13 win over the Denver Broncos (JJ Watt and Jaelan Phillips are the other two to accomplish the feat). His 26% pass-rush win rate is the third highest in NFL history, trailing only Micah Parsons (2021) and Myles Garrett (2017). 

The Texans defense improved their yards per game allowed from 379.5 to 330.7 and yards per carry allowed from 5.1 to 3.5. as Anderson played a huge role in the revitalization of the defense. Anderson was taken with the No. 3 overall pick in the 2023 NFL Draft, after the Panthers took Bryce Young No. 1 and teammate C.J. Stroud went to the Texans at No. 2.