Jesse Williams DT Alabama #54
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Size/Athleticism: Elite strength. Surprisingly quick for his size. Doesn’t look like the type of athlete who can move well, but he’s much faster than your typical nose tackle.
Run Defense: Prototypical nose tackle. He’s built like a fire hydrant and is incredibly difficult to move off his spot. Wins the one-on-one battle every time. Even in double team situations, it’s very difficult to move him. You simply need to neutralize him and create a hole around him. Quick to react to the play. He disengages from blocks easily and is fast enough to make a few plays in pursuit. Short arms hurt his ability to make plays. He misses some tackles when he isn’t able to fully wrap guys up. Lateral mobility is his best asset. He isn’t fast enough to chase anyone down from behind, but he sees the play developing and is quick to shift into position to plug a hole. Even when he isn’t the one making the play, he impacts a lot of plays by shedding a block to plug a hole, forcing the runner elsewhere.
Pass Rush: Explosive off the snap and surprisingly quick. Due to his build, he’s a pure bull rusher. Lacks the length to really fight with his upper body and generate any meaningful pass rush moves. He gets into the backfield by staying low and simply bulldozing his way through interior offensive linemen. Gets his arms up into passing lanes, but he isn’t exceptionally tall and his arms are short for a typical lineman.
Versatility: Experienced at nose tackle in Alabama’s 3-4. He may have enough athleticism to play end in the 3-4 early in his career, but in the long term, he’s a space-eating nose tackle in any scheme.
Intangibles: Grew up in Australia playing rugby and didn’t start playing football until age 14. Originally committed to Hawaii but was forced to attend JUCO for academic reasons. Has a YOLO tattoo on his face.
Durability: Suffered concussion in 2012.
Comments: Williams would be a perfect fit for a hybrid defense due to his size and athleticism. He can line up at tackle or end in the 3-4 and inside in 4-3 sets. But even in a standard 4-3 he has value as a space-eater at nose tackle. His ability to handle doubles teams without giving up ground will make him a valuable asset in run defense in any system.