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Leonard Williams- Scouting Report

Steve Shoup

Defensive Lineman- Leonard Williams- USC

Pros:

  • Highly productive 3 year starter at USC, who dominated throughout his career.
  • Capable of wrecking havoc in the backfield, had 20 sacks and 35 tackles for a loss in his 3 year career.
  • Extremely versatile defensive lineman, can play DE in a 3 man front or DT in a 4 man front. Equally capable of penetrating or taking on blockers depending on the defense.
  • Excellent size and frame, with good athleticism.
  • Locates the ball carrier quickly when asked to read and react and does a nice job closing in for the tackle.
  • Rarely gets pushed around, plays with really good leverage and is not someone you can easily run right at.
  • Good pass rusher who will make you pay if not double-teamed.
  • Tough player who battled through an ankle injury this past season and still played at a high level.

Cons:

  • Can be late off the snap at times which NFL OL will take greater advantage of.
  • Still developing his pass rush moves and counter-moves, was able to rely on pure speed/strength/athleticism at the college level
  • Overall pretty raw, may have some minor growing pains

Overview:

Williams is the most complete player in this draft class and has probably the best combination of upside and floor. He has a chance to be a special player in a draft class that is short on elite talents. Williams is still developing as a prospect, and he’s not a sure thing to reach his potential, but even if he doesn’t reach his upside he should max out as a good solid starter. It’s tough to see him as a player who just doesn’t succeed at all at the NFL level.

Williams is a scheme/system diverse player who should excel regardless of what team selects him at the top of the draft. Though he is generally thought of as a good pass rusher, his run game might be even more advanced at this point. He does a nice job finding the ball carrier when the run isn’t directly at him and shedding any attempts at a block to take him out of the play. When he is run at, Williams holds his ground well and fights off blocks to clog up the hole. His pass rush is impressive as well and should he go to a team that allows him to penetrate quickly he could excel earlier than expected.

Williams should be in high demand in this draft as he has that impact potential and isn’t going to be snap limited like some of the top pass rushers in the draft. At this point his floor seems to be the Bears at 7 and he could go as high as the 2nd pick to the Titans. Whereever he ends up he should quickly be come a centerpiece of that defense and a building block for that team.



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