2013 NFL Draft Scouting Report: Jesse Williams

  • Good athlete
  • Decent bull rush
  • Powerful upper body
  • Can destroy single blocks
  • Hard to move off line of scrimmage
  • Constantly fills his gap
  • Good fit as a zero-technique in a 3-4
  • Plays with good pad level
  • Scheme versatility
  • Experienced

  • Weaknesses:
  • Zero pass-rush ability
  • Top heavy
  • Shedding blocks
  • Weak against double teams
  • Short arms (32.08)
  • Has quiet stretches
  • Already had one concussion

  • Summary: The Alabama Crimson Tide have featured a tough, physical defense comprised of maulers at the line of scrimmage. Williams was one of those defenders who did the dirty work for Alabama’s defense. The powerful defensive tackle was part of a tough run defense that controlled the SEC.

    Originally from Australia, Williams didn’t start playing football until he was 15 years old. Williams then played a couple seasons of community college before breaking into the lineup for Alabama as a junior. He had 24 tackles with four tackles for a loss and half a sack in 2011. Williams was a starting five-technique defensive end but moved inside to tackle as part of a four-man front in pass-rushing situations.

    Williams took on a larger role in 2012. The senior had a rough start to the season as he was limited against Michigan in Week 1 and sat out the next game, against Western Kentucky, with a concussion. Williams played better later in the year with good performances versus Texas A&M, LSU, Georgia and Notre Dame. He had 37 tackles, 2.5 tackles for a loss and one sack in 2012.

    Scouts told WalterFootball.com that they believe Williams is not deserving of a first-round pick because he doesn’t have any pass-rush ability. They felt that he projects as a 3-4 nose tackle, 3-4 defense end or a 4-3 nose guard. In all three of those roles, Williams could be asked to eat up double-teams, especially if he is lining up on the inside of the defensive line.

    Sources felt that Williams is supposed to be a two-gap defender in the NFL. Tackles like that are regularly assigned to stuff and eat up double-teams. Scouts said Williams really struggled against double-teams in college and they were able to have success against him. Scouts said that Williams can whip a single block, but they have concerns that he can hold up against doubles in the NFL.

    One team that could consider Williams views him as a second-day pick. However, their scouts said they weren’t fans of him. They felt that he is top heavy with some thin legs and that could be an issue in the NFL. They also didn’t like that he is tight athletically with zero pass-rush ability.

    Williams needs to get better at holding his ground against double-teams, especially bump blocks that are a lot more powerful in the NFL than they are in college. If Williams can develop the ability to hold his ground against double-teams, he should turn into a tough physical presence at the point of attack. Against a single block, Williams should be a tough run-defender who causes problems up the middle.

    Williams has the potential to be a good run-stuffer at the next level, but doesn’t offer much of anything as a pass-rusher. He looks like a two-down player, at most, as a pro and with the amount of nickel formations teams run, may only end up playing 40 percent of his defense’s snaps.

    Some project Williams to be a late first-round pick, but with his lack of pass-rush ability he looks better suited to be second- or third-round pick.

    Player Comparison: Sione Pouha. If Williams pans out in the NFL, he could be a player comparable to Pouha. Pouha has been a quality nose tackle since being selected by the Jets in the third round of the 2005 NFL Draft. Williams is just about identical in his measurements to Pouha (6-3, 325), and both players are physical at the point of attack. If Williams continues to improve his game, he could excel like Pouha.

    NFL Matches: Kansas City, Philadelphia, Indianapolis, Pittsburgh, Green Bay, New England

    There are a number of teams that could target Williams. The Chiefs could use more talent for their defensive line and could consider Williams if he makes it to their third-round pick.

    The Eagles have switched to a 3-4 defense and could use more linemen for that scheme. Williams also fits Chip Kelly’s desire to get bigger and more physical on defense.

    The Colts have Williams’ former teammate Josh Chapman and could think of adding Williams to their defensive line if he is available when they select in the third round.

    Pittsburgh released Casey Hampton this offseason and could use another nose tackle option. Williams would make a lot of sense going to the Steelers on the second day of the 2013 NFL Draft.

    Green Bay could use more help on its defensive line and Williams is a nice scheme fit in the team’s 3-4.

    The Patriots need some youth at defensive tackle and have drafted players like Williams in the past. Plus, Vince Wilfork is getting older. Williams could occupy blockers to try and free up New England’s linebackers.


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