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Leonard Williams | Defensive Tackle

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

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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. Apr 20 - 6:51 PM

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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."
Apr 13 - 8:54 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."
Apr 13 - 4:05 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
Apr 8 - 4:53 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
Apr 7 - 6:08 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.
Apr 5 - 10:44 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."
Apr 3 - 7:56 PM

ESPN's Mel Kiper wrote that he "love[s] the fit of [USC DL Leonard Williams] in a defense run by Dick LeBeau, who can tailor Williams' versatility to the scheme."

LeBeau will shepherd in more 3-4 looks on Tennessee's 2015 defense and Kiper believes Williams, along with edge rushers Derrick Morgan and Brian Orakpo, would be used to full effect by the creative LeBeau. The Titans, picking No. 2, are going to get first crack at Williams. The odds of such a marriage? "50-50. Maybe less," Kiper wrote. "I think there's a good chance Marcus Mariota is drafted here either by Tennessee or a team that trades into this position (it also could be for Jameis Winston), so it wouldn't surprise me at all if Williams is still around beyond this slot."
Mar 30 - 11:45 PM

USC DL Leonard Williams is "safe because of the scheme versatility and the fact that he hasn't even fully developed as a pass-rusher yet," noted ESPN's Mel Kiper.

"I know some think Danny Shelton is a safer defensive lineman as a pure oversized clogger in the middle, but Williams is a devastating run-defender who controls multiple gaps and creates a push of penetration regardless of where he lines up," Kiper wrote, basically calling Williams the draft's safest player. That opinion is shared by many. Williams is a surefire top-five pick, and he likely won't escape the top three.
Mar 30 - 9:15 PM

The MMQB's Andy Benoit was impressed by USC DL Leonard Williams' fundamentals when breaking down his tape.

Benoit astutely points out Williams is not the caliber of athlete that some say he is. We have written that Williams, who is 20 years old, tested like an average athlete for his position. But, Williams does win with length, strength hand use and "fundamentals," as Benoit notes. Be sure to click the link for a detailed breakdown.
Source: The MMQB
Mar 25 - 1:58 PM

USC DL Leonard Williams "should be able to match the athleticism with the power and become a consistent Pro Bowler with a ceiling that goes even higher than that," writes NFL Media draft analyst Lance Zierlein.

Williams ranks as the class' best defensive lineman, according to the analyst (and, well, everyone else). "Enormously powerful defensive lineman," Zierlein wrote. "Has the look and feel of the biggest, strongest kid on the playground but hasn't figured out how to unlock his natural gifts and consistently dominate the rest of the kids on the playground just yet. Williams can play in an odd or even front, and is able to hold the point as a two-gapper or disrupt upfield." The analyst compares Leonard Williams to Kevin Williams. He isn't the only one who thinks so. "You can't over-think this one. It doesn't matter how raw he is because he's got freakish qualities that are rare for men his size. I think he has a chance to be as good as Kevin Williams. That's his comp," said an NFC Director of Scouting.
Mar 24 - 12:47 AM

NFL Media named USC DL Leonard Williams the "safest prospect in the draft."

This is pretty much the consensus opinion. "You don't get to the position of being rated the top overall prospect in the draft unless NFL scouts need a magnifying glass to find any concerns," wrote College Football 24/7 writer Chase Goodbread. "He also has the versatility to play multiple spots on the defensive line, which will help him stay on the field for all three downs. If Williams isn't ready to make a difference as a rookie, nobody is." Williams could go as high as No. 2 to the Titans. If Marcus Mariota (or, we suppose, someone else) is taken in that slot, Williams isn't likely to get past the Jaguars at No. 3.
Mar 19 - 5:05 PM

Commenting on USC DL Leonard Williams,'s Frank Cooney suggested that "anybody compared to J.J. Watt should be a top-three draft prospect."

"Williams might be a game-changer from anywhere along the front line, but seems best suited to play a five-technique end in a base 3-4," Cooney wrote. The analyst noted that the Trojan prospect's "raw athleticism, agility and strength is destructive from any position on any defensive line" and added NFL scouts compare him to Gerald McCoy (Tampa Bay, No. 3, 2010). Williams could go as high as No. 2 to the Titans. "I do believe that I should be the No. 1 overall pick. At the same time it depends on what guy a team needs. Some teams need a quarterback more than others," Williams said.
Source: CBS Sports
Mar 15 - 5:38 PM

The Tennessee Titans "spent a lot of time" with USC DL Leonard Williams at Wednesday's pro day, according to TFY Draft Insider's Tony Pauline.

If Pauline is to be believed about Williams' pro day workout -- he is -- the Titans brass walked away extremely impressed. "Williams was dominant in drills today," Pauline wrote on Wednesday. "He was explosive, powerful and looked very athletic. His balance and body control are exceptional." The 6-foot-5, 302-pound Williams has been compared to J.J. Watt, Gerald McCoy, Richard Seymour and Calais Campbell. He's certainly in play to go No. 2 to the Titans. If he doesn't, he'll only fall a slot or two further.
Mar 13 - 9:36 PM

USC DL Leonard Williams is the "most intriguing" prospect in the 2015 class, according to NFL Media's Lance Zierlein.

Williams "has (the) ideal frame and can play in almost any spot along the defensive line," Zierlein writes. "Tape is good, not great, but his raw talent and projection have teams excited." Williams is widely regarded as the top defensive prospect in the draft, but it might be worthwhile to take a step back and see if groupthink is occurring here. Williams has ridiculous strength to control his opponent on counter moves, the question is his burst off the snap to win immediately.
Mar 12 - 11:27 AM