Mocking: Sylvester WilliamsApril 17th, 2013
If the Bucs still own the No. 13 overall pick come next Thursday, and if they don’t see a cornerback on the board they like at that investment, then it’s likely the Bucs would nab a defensive lineman.
One guy allegedly climbing up draft boards is DT Sylvester Williams out of North Carolina. Of course, what adds intrigue to Williams is the fact Greg Schiano senior operative/advisor Butch Davis recruited Williams to Tar Heel country out of the junior college ranks.
Williams, at 6-3, 313, is like a bigger version of Brian Price. But he’s a bit of a bizarre prospect, having only played one year of high school ball and turning 25 years old in November.
Here’s what NFL.com has on Williams:
Wide body nose tackle with an unexpected bit of quickness off the snap. Has girth through the middle that makes him tough to move when he looks to anchor. Keeps his eyes in the backfield and locates the ball well (and will sniff out the occasional screen). Uses strong hands and upper body to rip past and push aside lesser linemen. Good flexibility and balance, showing the ability to bend and roll his hips through contact off the ball and keep a wide base to anchor against base blocks and doubles. Violent tackler, will throw ball carriers to the ground. Has enough short-area quickness to charge through the A-gap off the snap. Spins off blocks when moving forward to threaten hesitating quarterbacks or get a hand on running backs in the backfield. Can two-gap, moves to either side of his man to corral backs coming between the tackles. Shows good leverage, pad level, and hand quickness to split double teams. When fresh, he will chase a bit more than most players his size against the run as well as give a second effort if his initial pass rush move fails.
Lacks closing speed to get a lot of sacks or make plays outside the box. Overly reliant on the swim move. Does not bull linemen backwards very often, won’t out-quick NFL guards. Flashes quickness off the snap, but gets stuck on blocks too often when tired, and loses ability to get to the ball even if able to disengage. Can get low and create a pile on the goal line, but gets pushed back when playing high in other short-yardage situations. Doesn’t have the athleticism to stop his momentum. Will run himself too far upfield and miss sacks and tackles when he can’t stop himself and break down. Turns 24 during the 2012 season.
Today, former NFL scout Russ Lande projected the Bucs to draft Williams in the first round.
Joe’s biggest question on any potential defensive tackle pick is whether the guy would be able to play the 3-technique successfully if Gerald McCoy was injured. One would think Williams has the physical tools to play the position.
Joe, though, doubts Greg Schiano would want to invest in a nose tackle after waving goodbye to Roy Miller, a guy he said was “custom-built” for the position.