NFL Hot Press: Character Concerns Weigh Down Sam Williams

Character Concerns Weigh Down Sam Williams

Updated Nov. 2, 2021
By Charlie Campbell. Follow Charlie on Twitter @draftcampbell.

Over the past three seasons, Ole Miss defensive end Sam Williams has been one of the SEC’s best and most consistent defenders. Williams broke out as a sophomore in 2019 with six sacks and 38 tackles. Entering the back half of the 2021 season, Williams is second in the SEC in sacks with 7.5, and he has three forced fumbles to go along with 29 tackles. The 6-foot-4, 265-pound Williams has good size to be an edge defender and a track record of success against good competition. NFL teams, however, do not view Williams as a future early-round pick thanks to what team sources call major character concerns.

“He’s a super talented player,” said an area scout. “Talent-wise, he’s got it. He’s at worst a second-round talent, but he has first-round traits. But he has a lot of character concerns, and some is real bad with lots of maturity issues. My team probably will rule him out, but I would bet someone takes a chance on him late Day 2.”

Williams could help himself by interviewing well with teams in the leadup to the 2022 NFL Draft. If his interviews go poorly, Williams could slide even further. Despite being on his way to producing a double-digit sack season in the conference that is the NFL’s closet thing to a minor league, Williams could fall to the mid-rounds of the 2022 NFL Draft because of these significant concerns.