Leonard Williams

November 19, 2014

Leonard Williams, Southern California; 6-4, 290; 4.90; JR … True junior who is drawing comparisons to such NFL stars as J.J. Watt and Richard Seymour; indeed, Williams is one of the top 2-3 position prospects for the 2015 draft with the potential to be the first player selected overall; impressive physical specimen with the frame to ultimately play at around 305 pounds at the next level; still very light on his feet, though, with the quickness and lateral agility to jump into gaps and get into the backfield; also has good anticipation and does a nice job locating the ball and flowing to the point of contact; has long arms and does a nice job shedding blocks, although like a lot of taller defensive linemen needs to concentrate on keeping his pads low, especially when double-teamed; still an outstanding run defender who will finish his career with over 200 career tackles despite facing almost constant double-teaming; also an effective pass rusher with 19.5 career sacks who uses his strength and agility to work his way up the field, but lacks the elite speed to consistently turn the corner; also lacks much in the way of sophisticated pass rush moves and could do a better job getting his hands into passing lanes; interestingly, Williams had his best sack year (with 8) as a DT in 2012 before moving outside for the last two seasons; has had some durability issues in that he had surgery to repair a torn labrum that forced him to miss a couple of games in 2013 and then was slowed early this season by a high-ankle sprain; young player who doesn’t turn 21 until after the draft; in the end, though, the only real question regarding Williams’ pro potential is where he plays at the next level; he likely lacks the pure foot-speed to play as a 4-3 DE, so best fits are probably as either a 3-4 DE or 4-3 3-tech DT.