Tim Williams 2017 NFL Draft Profile

Via Last Word On Pro Football, by Matt Harvey

Overview
Position
: Edge/OLB
Height: 6’4”
Weight: 252 pounds
School: Alabama Crimson Tide

Tim Williams 2017 NFL Draft Profile

Not many players in this draft possess the athleticism and versatility that Alabama’s Tim Williams has. The Crimson Tide senior was a high flyer in his four years, establishing himself as one of the most dangerous Alabama defenders. Before college, he was a four-star recruit out of University Lab High School in Louisiana. He was the No. 35 ranked player in the country and fifth at defensive end. After offers from LSU, Auburn and Florida among others, he chose Alabama which was the only school he made a formal visit.

During his freshman and sophomore years, he did not see much action or record many stats. His junior year was when he came into his own, becoming a dangerous pass rusher for the Tide. He ranked second on the team with 10.5 sacks and recorded 12.5 tackles for loss. Against Michigan State in the College Football Playoff Semi-Final, he had one sack and helped force two Alabama interceptions. This past senior season was when he exploded. 31 tackles, nine sacks, and a whopping 16 tackles for loss led him to second team All-America honors. He was one of their best pass rushers in his last two years and caused disruption in the opposing backfields all game.

There are plenty of things to get excited about when evaluating Williams. He explodes out of his stance and off the line, making him too explosive for offensive lineman and running backs off the edge. He has shown great foot quickness and ability to fall into coverage. His pad level is almost always lower than the man in front of him and allows him to run by players. He frequently timed snaps to gain extra steps on offensive lineman. The spin, swim and rip moves are all part of his repertoire in getting to the quarterback or running back. He has shown takedown and chase down speed, even on long plays that requires lots of running downfield. It doesn’t hurt that he is coming from the Nick Saban coaching staff and spent four years in a highly winning atmosphere.

Most of his college career was seeing him as a solid pass rusher, but never exemplary against the run or the pass. His best skills are rushing the passer, but at the next level he is undersized to be a lineman and has not developed enough as a pure outside linebacker. He was plagued by many off the field issues as well. In September, he was arrested for carrying a pistol without a permit and benched for the first half of the Kentucky game. It was also reported that he failed many other drug tests and showing signs of substance abuse. For all the talent he possess, he has a good amount of baggage and past history he brings with him.

Strengths

  • Explosive first step.
  • Quick feet.
  • Superb pass rushing skills.
  • Plays at a low pad level.
  • High motor to get all over field.
  • Good timing of snaps.

Weaknesses

  • Off the field red flags (weapons, substance abuse).
  • Not great pass coverage/run stopper.
  • Slow learning process.
  • Unknown next level position fit (undersized for defensive line).
  • Lacking strength to overpower.

NFL Comparison: Cliff Avril

Teams In Need of Edge Rusher: Philadelphia Eagles, Cincinnati Bengals, Pittsburgh Steelers, Cleveland Browns

Projection: Mid-first to early second round

Bottom Line

Tim Williams probably isn’t the first or second best choice out of Alabama in this draft but he brings great potential. His pass rushing skills are some of the best in this draft and if he ever makes the transition to a defensive end, he could be deadly. He certainly needs to add muscle and strength to learn to beat offensive lineman with his strength and not finesse. His off-the-field issues will certainly leave a big stain on his resume and whichever teams picks him must be prepared for them. In the end, he could easily be a mid-first round pick, but could also fall into the second round if teams are scared away.


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