Name: Leonard Williams
College: University of Southern California
Height / Weight: 6’5” / 302 lbs
S.U. Rank: 1
Potential NFL Teams: Jacksonville Jaguars, Minnesota Vikings, Philadelphia Eagles
Leonard Williams of USC provides the best defensive talent out of this year’s draft. Unlike Jadeveon Clowney, Williams doesn’t appear to be the kind of player that has ego issues, divides his locker room, or makes excuses.
Instead, he’s a man that owns up to his mistakes, but he also isn’t afraid to hold his team accountable.He is just what the NFL needs — a well-rounded player with high expectations for others as well as himself.
Instead of worrying if he’ll be drafted in the first round, the question that comes into play is simply a matter of by whom? The Jaguars, Vikings, and Eagles are all spots that Williams would be a welcomed addition, but he really could be helpful to any team he lands on.
Regardless of who picks him, here are three reasons to be excited for Leonard Williams at the next level:
1. The Next Won-Hit Wonder
Yes, you read that headline correctly. Instead of being a one-hit wonder, like Clowney, Manziel, or other stars with massive yet passive potential, Williams knows exactly what he’s getting himself into and what will be required of him at the next level.
With Manziel in Cleveland, we saw expectations of the game flow coming easy to a young quarterback with an odd personality on and off the field. As the majority of us saw coming, Manziel instead had one of the hardest times getting used to the National Football League.
Welcome to playing with the big boys.
With Jadeveon Clowney, we saw what cocky can do to even the best of talents. Clowney was the top overall pick in last year’s draft by the Houston Texans. He was picked above everyone else because Houston was expecting a big man that would grow from his college years, learn from his mistakes, and be a Houston legend.
Well, so far that’s yet to even really get going thanks to Clowney’s lack of leadership and a season-ending injury.
But let’s get back to Williams. Standing at a large 6’5” with 302 lbs, on his belt, offensive lines are going to have to figure out how to play against the best defensive lineman since Ndamukong Suh. He’s ready to win big time and will do anything he humanly can to get his fair shot at the Lombardi Trophy.
Get ready to have the time of your life, National Football League.
2. Go Big Or Go Williams
Leonard Williams provides extraordinary size, as mentioned above. Surprisingly, his weight seems to be a factor in him playing better than his competition and serves as a complement rather than a detriment.
For people of Williams’ size that play in the NFL, maintaining the weight and being able to move around the field and be yourself is the crux of what it takes to be the best and stay there. An undeniable force for USC, the fact that their known as the Trojans was only fitting for a warrior like Williams.
I mean, imagine if Pete Carroll still coached there and was able to run this guy through a game or two.
We’d all be in for a treat, though, that’s for sure.
Williams also performed best under pressure, having one of his premier games come against the un-ranked but extremely dangerous Arizona Wildcats. Arizona was the one team besides Ohio State to knock off Marcus Mariota and the Oregon Ducks in the past collegiate season.
Against the Wildcats, Williams recorded two sacks and eight tackles to keep the leash on a hot-‘n’-ready offense.
Rest assured that we can expect the same from him at the next level, but with the numbers being even more impressive and eye-popping.
We’ve seen nothing yet.
3. Double Trouble
Williams comes off not just as a pressure player, but as a defensive end that can confuse quarterbacks and the rest of even the best offenses with a small move or juke here or there. In the opening game of last season for the Trojans, Williams manged to get an interception off of the Fresno State Bulldogs en route to a 52-13 shutdown.
This effort shows us that Williams can come through for his team even if they are already winning by a lot of points on the scoreboard. Landing on the Jaguars defensive unit would mean that Williams would have to bring his A-game no matter what just to keep Jacksonville in the loop whereas getting to play in Minnesota or Philadelphia gives him some more personal slack and room for improvement.
I mean after all, nobody’s perfect and he’ll be just a rookie.
But look for some sensational performances to come from Williams in the far and near future.
Do you want to look at more prospect profiles? Then click 2015 NFL Draft Top Prospects Rankings: Top-3 QB, RB, WR, S, CB, OLB, DE