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Leonard Williams | Defensive Tackle

Team: USC Trojans
Age / DOB:  (20) / 6/20/1994
Ht / Wt:  6'5' / 270

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USC junior DL Leonard Williams "has the ability to be an early first round pick next April," writes TFY Draft Insider Tony Pauline.
The USC prospect gained 15 pounds this offseason and is up to 305. "Williams is a nice combination of size, growth potential, athleticism and explosion," Pauline wrote. "He’s scheme diverse and can play several spots up front." Williams earned Pac-12 Defensive Freshman of the Year honors as a DT in 2012, and then converted to DE to collect 74 tackles -- 13.5 for loss -- and six sacks while battling through a nagging shoulder injury last year. Williams is a preseason top 10 prospect. Jul 27 - 6:30 PM

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USC junior DL Leonard Williams said he played at 65 percent strength/health last season due to a torn labrum.

Williams claims he is currently at 95 percent strength and has gained 15 pounds, as he now weighs 305 pounds. Fox Sports' Bruce Feldman notes Williams just turned 20 years old. If that was Williams at 65 percent, we are pretty excited to see the defensive lineman close to 100. He has a great chance of being this year's top prospect on the defensive side of the ball.
Jul 24 - 10:11 AM

USC DL Leonard Williams is an "exceptional talent" who possesses "a rare combination of size, easy athleticism and raw power," according to CBS Sports' Rob Rang.

Williams is a freak who earned Pac-12 Defensive Freshman of the Year honors as a DT, and then converted to DE to collect 74 tackles -- 13.5 for loss -- and six sacks while battling through a nagging shoulder injury last year. "He 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," Rang wrote. "Williams has impressive initial quickness, lateral agility, flexibility and balance to penetrate gaps and attack on stunts. He has very long arms, which allows him to keep blockers from latching on." According to the analyst, Williams must work on his leverage -- he tends to play high -- and could stand to read passing lanes better in order to knock down more attempts. "It is hard to imagine a scenario in which Williams doesn't wind up among the top five selections of the 2015 draft," Rang wrote.
Source: CBS Sports
Jun 27 - 2:31 PM

Former NFL scout Bucky Brooks believes USC DL Leonard Williams is a "work in progress."

"Although he possesses the prototypical physical dimensions and is very productive in several areas, NFL scouts will want to see more consistency and urgency in his play before anointing him as an elite prospect in the 2015 or 2016 class," Brooks writes. The former scout notes Williams needs to improve his hand use, pad level and footwork to "become a dominant player." There are few finished products at the college level, and we feel Williams will ultimately end up in the top 15 range.
Jun 25 - 10:09 AM

USC junior DL Leonard Williams could be the No. 1 overall pick in the 2015 NFL draft, according to Phil Steele of ESPN Insider.

Steele loves the Trojans' defense, led by Williams, which he ranks as the second best in the country. It features his No. 6 ranked defensive line, No. 5 linebackers and No. 3 defensive backs. Steele ranks USC as his No. 2 surprise team. "I do not have USC in my top 10 this season, but if the Trojans stay healthy and catch a break or two, all of their games are winnable, as new coach Steve Sarkisian will bring renewed optimism," he wrote.
Jun 19 - 1:40 PM

Scouts Inc.'s Kevin Weidl called USC junior DL Leonard Williams a "bad man."

Williams "plays with eyes and stacks/sheds with the best of them," Weidl tweeted. "A lot of violence on his tape." Obtaining backfield vision is a critical trait when evaluating defensive linemen, among other positions, but it is often overlooked. It minimizes wasted movement and allows front seven players to attack the football. Williams has the makings of a top-10 selection.
Jun 11 - 11:06 AM

Former scout John Middlekauff believes that USC junior DL Leonard Williams will "be a lock top 10 pick."

"USC's Williams will be a true jr -only 19 years old, former huge recruit, if healthy should be a lock top 10 pick," Middlekauff tweeted. Despite being injured last season, the Trojans prospect had 74 tackles and was an All-American last season. The 6-foot-5, 290-pound Williams should benefit greatly coming into the season healthy, which could mean a ton of nightmares for opposing offensive coordinators. Our own Josh Norris had Williams going No.3 in his most recent 2015 mock draft.
Jun 4 - 11:03 AM's Bryan Fischer reminds readers that USC junior DL Leonard Williams was an All-America last season despite playing with a torn labrum.

Williams made 74 tackles as a 290-pounder with a torn labrum, which is ridiculous. "Talk about 'wow," Fischer wrote. "He'll be fully healthy entering the season and the defensive lineman will be a terror for a league that lost a number of good offensive linemen to the draft or graduation. He'll be motivated about potentially being an early pick if he declares after the season and should be the next great Trojan who made a living in the backfield." All three writers asked to predict the Pac 12 defensive player of the year selected Williams. Mike Huguenin cited his "freakish quickness" and called him a "disruptive force."
May 23 - 2:10 AM

ESPN draft analyst Todd McShay slotted USC junior DL Leonard Williams No. 1 to the Raiders in his inaugural 2015 mock draft.

Williams went No. 3 in Josh Norris' recent 2015 mock, after QBs Marcus Mariota and Jameis Winston (Norris' draft order used Evan Silva’s pre-draft roster rankings, while McShay used projected win totals from Aaron Schatz of Football Outsiders). Wrote McShay of the tenacious Trojans' defensive lineman: "The 6-foot-5, 290-pound Williams can move extremely well for his size, and that translated to him being very disruptive and productive for the Trojans in 2013. He showed impressive awareness, quickness and a good motor." USC AD Pat Haden has called Williams one of his top five favorite players of all-time.
May 14 - 9:17 PM

USC AD Pat Haden tweeted sophomore DL Leonard Williams is one of his top five favorite players of all time.

You will be hearing and reading a lot of positive comments regarding Williams' game prior to next season. Haden has spent time around the USC program for 40 years, so this is obviously high praise. Williams recently made the midseason watch list for the Hendricks Award.
Tue, Nov 19, 2013 09:22:00 AM

USC sophomore DL Leonard Williams (shoulder) expects to play on Saturday against Stanford.

Williams, who missed last week's game versus Cal, received a platelet-rich plasma injection on Tuesday. "I'm just feeling like I'm getting a lot of my strength back so I should be able to go Saturday," he said. Williams, who isn't yet draft eligible, is a 6-foot-5, 290-pounder who has recorded a team-best 11 tackles for loss. "He's going to have to play, and play well," USC interim Coach Ed Orgeron said.
Fri, Nov 15, 2013 08:00:00 PM

USC sophomore DL Leonard Williams will not play versus Cal.

Williams is one of the Trojans' top defensive players but was not listed on the injury report. He has 10 tackles for loss, including four sacks, on the season.
Sat, Nov 9, 2013 02:59:00 PM

USC sophomore DL Leonard Williams registered two sacks against Hawaii on Thursday.

The Trojans switched from a four man front in Monte Kiffin's defense to a three/five man front, and the transition looked smooth last night. Williams is manning one of the end spot along the three man line, with Devon Kennard and Morgan Breslin on the edge. Williams isn't draft-eligible, but he's a name to remember.
Fri, Aug 30, 2013 11:21:00 AM

NFL Network's Daniel Jeremiah believes USC sophomore DL Leonard Williams is one of the top defensive players in college football.

Jeremiah cites Williams' "outstanding length, quickness and instincts," adding the defensive tackle "makes a ton of plays on tape." Combined with edge rusher Morgan Breslin and interior George Uko, the Trojans will likely produce one of the most talented groups in the country.
Tue, Jul 2, 2013 02:53:00 PM