NFL Hot Press: Teams Think Tim Williams Could Slip to Round 2

Teams Think Tim Williams Could Slip to Round 2

Updated Jan. 13, 2017
By Charlie Campbell. Follow Charlie on Twitter @draftcampbell.

Alabama edge rusher Tim Williams has been one of the top senior talents in college football for the 2017 NFL Draft throughout the 2016 season. Williams was a potent pass rushing weapon for the Crimson Tide, as he totaled almost 20 sacks in two years while not even playing a full-time role. In the scouting community Williams is a consensus first-round talent, however team sources believe that Williams could easily slip to the second day of the draft. The reason for that is many failed drug tests, and some team sources have said that Williams substance abuse issues are very serious in the realm of Dallas Cowboys defensive end Randy Gregory.  

Gregory was one of the top physical talents for the 2015 NFL Draft, but he fell to the second round because of drug problems and repeated failed tests. Sources say that Williams’ issues with marijuana are comparable to Gregory. Three different team contacts all said Williams problems were similar in their severity to Gregory. In late September, Williams had an arrest for carrying a pistol without a permit. Alabama suspended him for the first half of the game against Kentucky as a result, but he was fortunate to avoid other suspensions, as sources say he failed many drug tests. That leads teams to have concerns that he will land repeated suspensions in the NFL like Gregory.   

Also hurting Williams’ chances of going on Thursday night is there are a number of edge rusher candidates to consider in the back half of the first round and into the second round. Players like Stanford’s Solomon Thomas, Missouri’s Charles Harris, Illinois’ Dawuane Smoot, Michigan’s Taco Charlton, Florida State’s Demarcus Walker, and Wisconsin’s T.J. Watt. Teams have other options to strengthen their edge rush without taking a risk on a player with serious off-the-field concerns like Williams. Numerous teams said they would not take Williams in the first round because of the suspension concern, and they would consider Williams on the second day of the draft. As a result, a lot of team sources believe Williams could slip to Round 2 like Gregory.