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2015 NFL DRAFT

Leonard Williams, DT

School: Southern California  |  Conference: PAC12
College Experience: Junior  |  Hometown: Daytona Beach, FL
Height/Weight: 6-5 / 302 lbs.
Projected Ranking
OverallPositionProj. Rnd.
111

Player Lowdown

Combine Results
40 Yd 20 Yd 10 Yd 225 Bench Vertical jump Broad Shuttle 3-Cone Drill
4.972.881.73- 29 1/28'10"4.537.59
Workout Results
40 Yd 20 Yd 10 Yd 225 Bench Vertical jump Broad Shuttle 3-Cone Drill
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Mock Draft Expert Analysis

  • Jacksonville Jaguars | #3
    The Jaguars' record isn't pretty, but coach Gus Bradley's infectious enthusiasm, a hard-hitting defense and talented young quarterback Blake Bortles have this franchise on the upswing. The 6-5, 290-pound Williams has been my personal top-rated player since October. He is a physical mismatch too quick for interior linemen and too powerful for offensive tackles.
  • Tennessee Titans | #2
    Oregon's Marcus Mariota should be in the conversation here, but if the Titans decide to stick with Zach Mettenberger as the starting quarterback then Williams becomes a logical choice. Not only is he the best player available, but he also fits what Dick LeBeau and Ray Horton want to do on defense.
  • Tennessee Titans | #2
    He's the best player in the draft. They have to get better on defense and I think they like QB Zach Mettenberger.
  • Tennessee Titans | #2
    Williams will probably be the consensus top player on most draft boards. I labeled him DL, not DT, because he has the skills to play anywhere in the front and in any front. In the Titans' scheme he would be a 5-technique on the run downs and move inside over the guard in the pass rush situations.
 

Strengths Weaknesses

STRENGTHS: An exceptional talent, boasting a rare combination of size, easy athleticism and raw power to go along with a passion for the game. Possesses a naturally large frame with broad shoulders, long limbs and a trim middle that makes it easy to see why the Trojans have rotated him all over the defensive line.

Impressive initial quickness, lateral agility, flexibility and balance to penetrate gaps and attack on stunts. Very long arms, which allows him to keep blockers from latching on. Shows good technique to chop away opponents when they are able to initially lock him up. Locates the football quickly and has good speed for pursuit.

Displayed his passion for the game in toughing it out through an ankle injury for most of the 2014 season.

WEAKNESSES: When the game comes as easily to a player as it appears to with Williams, it is easy to nit-pick technique and consistency. Williams, like most taller defensive tackles, struggles at times with leverage. He gets his hands into passing lanes but needs to show better awareness and hand-eye coordination to make those big mitts weapons.

COMPARES TO: Gerald McCoy, Buccaneers - Williams is earning comparisons from scouts to everyone from McCoy to Houston Texans defensive end J.J. Watt for his ability to dominate the line of scrimmage while alternating between defensive tackle and defensive end.

IN OUR VIEW: Regardless of where he lines up, the Daytona Beach, Fla., native has been a standout. His physical make-up is extremely impressive with his size, length and athleticism to line up at any position on the defensive line, inside or outside, and be effective.

--Dane Brugler & Rob Rang (11/20/14)

Player Overview

While Southern Cal has endured some relatively down years recently, it is rare that a true freshman walks in and makes a significant impact in the land of Troy, especially along the line of scrimmage. That is precisely what Williams did in 2012, however, after signing with USC out of Daytona Beach, FL.

Operating at defensive tackle, Williams registered a 64 tackles, including 13.5 for loss and eight sacks, earning Defensive Freshman of the Year honors from the Pac-12. He was moved outside to end in 2013 and was even more productive, ranking second on the team with 74 tackles, while picking up another 13.5 tackles for loss and six sacks, despite being limited by a shoulder injury.

Nicknamed the "Big Cat," Williams' flexibility, movement skills and point of attack strength are exactly what NFL teams covet in the trenches.

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Player News
02/21/2015 - Five takeaways from Friday's DL/LB NFL Combine media session: 2. DT Leonard Williams, USC...Williams, who measured at 6-5 and 302 pounds with 34 5/8" arms and 10 5/8" hands, was too big to play Pop Warner in middle school at 210 pounds so he played rugby, a sport that introduced him to the physical nature and versatility of football. Williams did make a compelling case why he should be considered the best player in the draft. "I'm competing with quarterbacks," Williams said. "I would say that from the previous years, it's like taking a chance when you take a quarterback. You never know what you're going to get. I would say that I'm going to bring that disruption and physical-ness and I'm going to get to the quarterback and get sacks." During their interview, the Titans even gave Williams the phone number of former Trojan Jurrell Casey, Tennessee's Pro Bowl defensive lineman. He gave Casey a call last night and discussed possibly being teammates soon. It's safe to say Williams-to-Tennessee in mock drafts makes a lot of sense. - Dane Brugler, NFLDraftScout.com
 

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