Could The Alabama Pass Rusher Make It To The Detroit Lions?
Recently there have been several mock drafts that have the Detroit Lions taking Alabama pass rusher Tim Williams. On paper the pick makes sense, Detroit needs a pass rusher and Williams is very talented. During the last two seasons he produced 19.5 sacks and 27.5 tackles for loss.
Explosiveness is probably Williams’ biggest strength. Often he blows by offensive lineman off the snap of the football with ease. He also uses his hands pretty well. When he feels a tackle is playing him to go to his outside he uses a rip move to get to the tackles inside. The Alabama stand-out also has a good spin move and a swim move in his arsenal.
Alabama used Williams as a pass rush specialists for the most part. There were games where he played more often however. Against the run he has shown the ability to set the edge without being pushed around by opposing blockers. He has trouble actual shedding blocks to make plays against the run.
Also Williams sometimes gets ahead of himself and focuses on getting into the backfield and forgets to keep an eye on the ball. This leads to him taking himself out of plays on occasion.
Williams is far from a perfect prospect. For a team like Detroit, who runs a 4-3 scheme on defense, it is somewhat difficult to project how Williams would fit. A majority of his snaps in college came as a stand-up linebacker. Occasionally he did line up with his hand in the dirt but not often.
Listed at 6’4” and 252 pounds, Williams is lighter than most NFL defensive ends. The fact that Alabama used his as mostly a pass rush specialist could worry teams about whether he could be trusted against the run.
Unfortunately for Williams his ability to defend the run isn’t his only issue, and may not even be his biggest. He was arrested for carrying a handgun without a permit. There are also reports that he’s failed multiple drug tests while at Alabama.
Both of those are major red flags. Williams is a very talented player. Some day he could end up developing into one of the most disruptive players in the NFL. With that said the Lions may be better off passing on him and taking someone else. When you add the off the field issues with the fact that he isn’t an obvious fit in the Lions scheme it becomes an extremely risky pick.