+Decent pass rusher
-Old for a rookie
-Looks out of shape on film
-Plays with mediocre on field intensity
-No strength in the low body
I don’t understand what everybody sees in North Carolina defensive tackle Sylvester Williams. I didn’t have much film on him his junior season, in which he was statistically more productive and supposedly a better player, but the Sylvester Williams I know just isn’t a good prospect.
Williams has solid measurables. He has solid height at 6’3, solid bulk at 313lbs, and above average speed for his size with a 5.03 40 at the combine. He has average length for his size (33 1/2 inch arms), and average strength (27 bench reps), but he had below average leg strength with a pathetic 26.5 inch vertical. Measurables aside, I think the guy has a terrible build. He looked extremely fat for a guy who supposedly lost weight in the off-season, at least in the Duke game, and he lacks stamina.
Williams had below average stats as a senior, but he wasn’t terrible as a junior. In 2012, he had 42 tackles, 13.5 TFL’s, and 6 sacks in 12 games. That doesn’t seem to bad at first glance, but, like former teammate Robert Quinn (looking back, I was bad writer back then), he inflated his stats against bad competition. 5.5 of his 6 sacks came against Elon, Idaho, East Carolina, Wake Forest, and Virginia, the other half sack coming against Virginia Tech. As a junior, however, he had 54 tackles, 7.5 TFL’s, and 2.5 sacks, and he wasn’t inflating his stats against bad competition. Also, his playing weight was 325lbs, and normally the lack of stamina that comes from being that big makes your stats worse, since you are on the field less often, but it didn’t affect Williams. Again, I hardly scouted Williams during his junior season, and I wonder what I was missing.
Williams is below average against the run. First of all, I don’t know why he slimmed down last off-season, because it did nothing to help him as a player. He has the worst stamina of any sub 315lbs player I have ever seen. He’s only on the field for about 60% of North Carolina’s defensive plays, which kind of puts him in Louis Nix III territory, the difference being Nix is 340lbs, so he’s easily winded for good reasons. Williams was just out of shape. He has decent strength in the upper body but he lacks strength in the lower body. His quickness is good but his instincts are poor, and he can be a bit of a blind penetrator, my term for a guy who gets into the backfield at all costs but has no idea where the ball is once he gets there. His effort comes and goes against the run and he doesn’t make many tackles in traffic. He often tries to rush the passer and opens up a huge hole trying to get outside his man. He also isn’t very good at anticipating the snap. His fundamentals are average. I’m not fan of his ability against the run.
Williams is decent against the pass. He has elite first step quickness, reaching top speed very quickly, but he doesn’t make much of this quickness simply because he doesn’t do a great job of anticipating the snap. If his reaction to the snap of the football was quicker, he could flash Sheldon Richardson’s pass rushing potential, but, as of now, he’s mediocre. He doesn’t have much strength and could do a better job of using his hands to shed blocks. His lack of stamina often results in a lack of production of passing downs. He gets winded very easily. Not a ton to like here, but if he anticipated the snap better and cleaned up his hand usage, he could be decent.
In the end, I’m not a fan of Williams. He simply looked really out of shape this season. I doubt he will succeed in the NFL.
NFL Comparison: Not easy to find someone anyone has ever heard, but I’ll say Corey Peters
Grade: 76 (worthy of a mid, maybe early 3rd round pick)
Projection: 91 (will be a late 1st round pick)