Tim Williams – Senior / 6’3″ / 244 – Alabama
- 2016: USC, Texas A&M, LSU, Tennessee
- 2015: LSU, Clemson, Mississippi St., Michigan St.
The Skinny: Tim Williams is an interesting size for an edger. Sometimes this seems to cause him to play too carefully. Other plays he is relentless and plays until the whistle which helped to earn him some garbage sacks. He certainly lacks finesse as a pass rusher and he needs to bring some more thunder to his run stopping.
There is an underlying issue with scouting Alabama defenders. Typically they have one or two responsibilities within the framework of the defensive scheme. This is especially the case with Williams. In a sense, he was basically just a designated pass rusher. As the speed rusher, he often got caught over-pursuing. Smart QBs (like most starting NFL ones) will simply step up into the pocket and throw behind Williams or scramble through the vacated lane. Williams is a senior but he is still lacking in experience. It’s not like he is just a sub-package guy, although he technically only started two games in 2016. He was a situation QB catcher. It is concerning to see him not use torque or twitch to stun blockers. We have seen him bend the edge at a 45-degree angle.
So we know there is power and burst within. Yet, the elite sack hungry players exhibit a variety of moves. Williams gets tied up or stunned by bigger/stronger offensive tackles too often. As earlier stated, Williams is relentless in his pursuit and that has definitely earned him some sacks as well as TFLs. However, it is valid to ponder whether or not his relentlessness is a product of his limited usage. He is fresher than most that attempt to block him. This is very true when he beats his man, you see him drop his hips like a WR and reach for and find that extra gear. It is also important to remember that the Alabama front-7 is loaded with five-star talent. Is Williams a player that creates his own lanes and energy avenues in which to be successful?
Williams also has a distinct advantage as a member of the Crimson Tide. If you watch SEC football you already know that NFL caliber defenders can be seen on every team. Williams and his brothers in defense at ‘Bama are known for their “sting-you-in-the-thigh” efficient tackling. Williams is an ultra-focused chopping machine when the ball carrier is with his grasp.
On a serious note, Williams has reportedly failed more than one drug test at Alabama, with no real repercussions. However, he was suspended for the first half of a game in 2016 for a misdemeanor gun charge in which he was arrested.
Fantasy Outlook: Williams is suited as a 4-3 OLB in a stunt-heavy scheme. His speed and burst can thwart open running lanes. He will likely need to match up with right tackles to remain successful. He certainly struggled versus the massive 6-foot-8/353 pound Zach Banner of USC.
Banner is not a blue-chip draft prospect. In fact, teams are not sure where he can play in the NFL. You cannot expect Williams to knock the hulking Banner on his butt. However slipping around him should have been a possibility. Where Williams fails is when he immediately stands up and gets to his tallest point. Was he going to puff his chest out and scare Banner? He needs to swat, spin or swim around a player like this who is limited physically. Why Williams continues to square up with the wide bodied Banner is baffling.
Tim Williams only made 31 tackles in 14 games during the 2016 season. He had only four games with more than two tackles. He did manage to turn 16 of those into tackles for a loss. That will effectively ring bells in defensive circles. Coaches love that kind of tenacity. Yet, the TFL summary is not greater than his entire body of work. Williams is more scheme dependent than any other edge-rusher in this draft. His best shot at success is consistently having only one offensive lineman to beat. If he goes to a 3-4 team his career is not over. It will simply take him some time to develop. Recent examples of this include Shane Ray, Markus Golden, Bud Dupree and Dee Ford.
Combine: Williams ran a 4.68 40-time at the combine. That is a quality number (83rd percentile amongst Edge players) for a player over 240 pounds. His 3-cone time of 7.36 was surprisingly disappointing (29th percentile). Guys like Solomon Thomas, Derek Barnett, Daeshon Hall, Trey Hendrickson, Dawuane Smoot and Tarell Basham all outweigh Williams by 20 pounds and/yet they recorded faster times. His board jump scored in the 91st percentile just behind Thomas and Myles Garrett. Williams drive in space is very apparent. Hopefully with the right coaching and that kind of leg explosion he can become a true disruptor who sees a majority snap share.
Comparisons range from Leonard Floyd to Devon Kennard.
If my work has helped your research or you simply enjoy it, please consider donating. Thank you.