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Leonard Williams | Defensive Tackle

Team: USC Trojans
Age / DOB:  (23) / 6/20/1994
Ht / Wt:  6'5" / 300

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ESPN's Mel Kiper grades the Jets as having an "A-" draft and writes that "the Jets front office had a great draft."
Kiper believes New York got the best overall player in the draft at No. 6 in USC DL Leonard Williams. "I know some fans might have wanted Kevin White at No. 6, but the Jets added a big-play threat at WR in Round 2 with Devin Smith," he added. The analyst also liked the way New York maneuvered around the board and praised the additions of QB Bryce Petty, OLB Lorenzo Mauldin and G Jarvis Harrison. To boot, Brandon Marshall and Zac Stacy, acquired for picks, were included in the draft grade. Mon, May 4, 2015 09:03:00 PM

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Jets selected USC DT Leonard Williams with the No. 6 overall pick in the 2015 draft.

Williams (6'5/302) spent three seasons at USC, tallying 36.5 career tackles for loss, 21 sacks, and five forced fumbles as a 35-game starter. Although Williams only tested as an above-average athlete (4.97 forty, 29 1/2-inch vertical), he dominated the Pac 12 at the ages of 18-20 and won't turn 21 until next month. Williams needs to play with lower pad level, but flashes dominant power on film and pass-rush potential that an NFL coaching staff should further unlock. Williams has drawn comparisons ranging from Kevin Williams to Richard Seymour. He joins an area of massive strength for the Jets, who already boast two dominant interior defensive linemen in Muhammad Wilkerson and Sheldon Richardson.
Thu, Apr 30, 2015 08:50:00 PM

The Atlanta Falcons are the team "most associated in a trade with the Jaguars," with "Leonard Williams and Dante Fowler Jr" as the targeted players, according to TFY Draft Insider Tony Pauline.

The Falcons are in desperate need of a pass rusher, and both Williams or Fowler Jr. would be welcome with open arms by the Falcons fanbase. Both prospects could be off the board by the No.8 selection, so if Atlanta is serious about either player, a trade up is paramount. Pauline adds that the Falcons are also "very interested in Vic Beasley."
Thu, Apr 30, 2015 03:26:00 PM

CBS Sports' Dane Brugler notes that the Raiders could end up with "arguably the best player in the draft two years in a row without a top-3 pick," If they land USC DL Leonard Williams.

The USC prospect would also get his wish if he landed with the Raiders, as Williams has publicly noted that he would love to wear the Silver and Black. Williams grew up a Raiders fan, growing up in Bakersfield California. With a possibility that the Titans could pass on Williams, and Jaguars possibly selecting Dante Fowler or Amari Cooper, the stars could align, if Williams dropped to Oakland at the four spot.
Wed, Apr 29, 2015 03:37:00 PM

USC DL Leonard Williams "is barely scratching the surface" and is already a "high-impact talent," according to NFL Media draft analyst Lance Zierlein.

The USC prospect still has room to grow--and were just talking frame wise. The 6-foot-5, 300-pounder still has more mass to add to his frame, as Williams is still just twenty years old. The USC talent has a rare combination of strength and quickness, which should cause sleepless nights for opposing lineman. Williams has drawn comparisons to seven-time Pro Bowl selection, Richard Seymour.
Tue, Apr 28, 2015 02:35:00 PM

Longtime Titans' beat writer Jim Wyatt does not see USC DL Leonard Williams being the pick at No. 2.

"He's a great player, but I don't see that happening," Wyatt tweeted. We agree with Wyatt, for what it is worth. Williams was commonly mocked to the Titans early in the process, but the smart money is on the team selecting Marcus Mariota, trading back or drafting Amari Cooper.
Mon, Apr 27, 2015 11:49:00 AM

NFL scouts speaking with the New Jersey Star-Ledger universally praised USC DL Leonard Williams, with one calling him "fool-proof" and another saying "he's the best I've seen (on the defensive line) in a long, long time."

"If he misses, I missed," said an AFC scout that made the "fool-proof" comment. "I think he's the best player in the draft. If we were picking (No. 1) he would be our guy." Another scout made a comparison to a player in rarefied air. "You can put him inside, outside, wherever you want to place him," an NFC scout said. "You could create mismatches with him, isn't that what they used to do with Reggie [White]?" Here is a sample of other quotes the paper accrued: "He's an end, a 3-technique, whatever you want him to be." ... "He's an athlete with good size who can move. Last year he was held like crazy and still got off and made plays." ... "He's legit. He's athletic. He's tough. He's strong as hell. In college he was unblockable."
Sun, Apr 26, 2015 10:11:00 PM

USC DL Leonard Williams is visiting the Redskins on Wednesday.

You might be surprised by this, but we think it is in the realm of possibility that Williams is available at pick No. 5. Think about it: the two quarterbacks go first, then an edge rusher, then a wide receiver. The redskins recently signed Stephen Paea, but Jason Hatcher turns 33 soon and could be a post June 1st cut after next season in this scenario.
Wed, Apr 22, 2015 11:36:00 AM

USC DL Leonard Williams "graded out extremely well in our system," said Pro Football Focus senior analyst Steve Palazzolo.

It's not all good news, however, for Mel Kiper's No. 1 graded player. "But a lot of people here think he will not be the impact pass-rusher who typically warrants a top-five pick, that he will be a run-stop player in a passing league," Palazzolo said. ESPN's player comparison tool sees Williams as similar to Cameron Heyward, Justin Harrell and Gerald McCoy on the basis of physical characteristics and athletic ability.
Mon, Apr 20, 2015 06:51:00 PM

NFL Media analyst Charles Davis thinks USC DL Leonard Williams could slide out of the top six.

Davis ranks Williams as the No. 1 player in the draft, but sees potential trouble if Jameis Winston and Marcus Mariota go Nos. 1-2, as expected. "The Jaguars (No. 3), Redskins (No. 5) and Jets (No. 6) all are consistently linked to the top edge rushers available, and most expect the Raiders (No. 4) to take a wide receiver," Davis wrote. "Could Williams, an interior defensive lineman, fall all the way to the Bears at No. 7, who would most likely jump at the chance to pick him? I don't think Williams will fall that far, but it's not implausible."
Mon, Apr 13, 2015 08:54:00 PM

NFL draft analyst Mike Mayock believes USC DL Leonard Williams fits the Tennessee Titans "like a glove."

"They could go a bunch of different ways (at No. 2 overall), it's really intriguing," Mayock said on "The Rich Eisen Show". "Leonard Williams fits them like a glove. He makes sense for them. Or, there's the intrigue of a trade." While the No.2 spot has been a rumored landing spot for teams trying to trade up for Marcus Mariota, Williams would be a great fit along the Titans' defensive line. The USC prospect would offer the Titans a versatile chess piece along their front line. Mayock noted that, Williams "is a natural five-technique who can play up and down the line of scrimmage. He's kind of a no-brainer, I think, if he continues to want to be the best player."
Mon, Apr 13, 2015 04:05:00 PM

CBS Sports NFL Insider Jason La Canfora writes that "many people believe [USC DL Leonard Williams] is the best player in the draft for him to last much beyond" No. 3.

"Jacksonville, with the third pick, could be open for trade talks and you could make the case they have some talent on the defensive line already," he wrote. "But this is too high for any of these offensive linemen and Williams could be a transcendent player above and beyond any of the pass rushers available, who will have big-time allure to the Jags as well." The analyst mentions the best-case scenario for the Jags: With Blake Bortles on the roster, Jacksonville is hoping Jameis Winston and Marcus Mariota go Nos. 1-2, leaving them a choice of the top non-QB available (or, of course, a trade). It's worth mentioning that Florida edge rusher Dante Fowler is convinced he's going No. 3.
Source: CBS Sports
Wed, Apr 8, 2015 04:53:00 PM

All three CBS draft analysts mock USC DL Leonard Williams to the Titans at No. 2 overall.

"I don't believe they take the quarterback," Pete Prisco wrote. "So they settle for the best player in the draft to amp up the defense." Chimed in Rob Rang: "It is easy to envision GM Ruston Webster opting for the relative safety of Williams, the clear-cut top non-quarterback in the 2015 draft and a perfect fit at end in Ray Horton's defense." Though Dane Brugler has the Titans taking Williams, he did so throwing up his hands, writing that the team could take Williams, Marcus Mariota, or trade down. It's impossible to know what they will do at this time.
Source: CBS Sports
Tue, Apr 7, 2015 06:08:00 PM

USC DL Leonard Williams' combine performance compares best to Gerald McCoy and Muhammad Wilkerson, wrote Jungkyu Lee, ESPN Stats & Information.

"Williams is perhaps the most physically gifted defensive end prospect this year," Lee wrote. "He has produced regardless of where he has lined up along the defensive line. Of his seven sacks last season, 3.5 came when he lined up on the edge, and 3.5 came when he lined up in the middle as a defensive tackle." Lee added that Williams broke double teams for sacks on three of his seven, second behind Markus Golden for most such sacks by top-15 defensive lineman ranked by Scouts, Inc. ESPN's Kevin Weidl compares USC DL Leonard Williams to Cameron Jordan, while ESPN's Stats & Information Group likens him to a cross between Gerald McCoy and Muhammad Wilkerson.
Sun, Apr 5, 2015 10:44:00 PM

ESPN's Kevin Weidl compares USC DL Leonard Williams to Cameron Jordan, while ESPN's Stats & Information Group likens him to a cross between Gerald McCoy and Muhammad Wilkerson.

"I don't think either McCoy or Wilkerson is a great comparison here from a style-of-play standpoint," Weidl wrote. "The player I would compare Williams to is a bigger version of Jordan. Both possess heavy hands and use their length well to stack defenders and find the ball. In addition, they have the lateral range to make plays down the line of scrimmage and provide a pass rush element." Countered S&I's John Parolin: "Williams profiles closely to McCoy and Wilkerson (almost a cross between the two). McCoy is slightly smaller physically across the board and a little slower, but has better burst (superior vertical and broad jumps at his combine), while Wilkerson is almost the perfect inverse of that."
Fri, Apr 3, 2015 07:56:00 PM