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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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NFL Media senior analyst Gil Brandt called USC DL Leonard Williams "a man among boys" and said his "upside is off the charts."
"I believe his upside is that he can be a Pro Bowl player for years to come," Brandt wrote. "He has outstanding athletic ability, and as he gets older and stronger, I expect him to become an even better player than he already is. You could just see his improvement last season, playing with a lot more competitiveness and showing an ability to knock players away rather than simply relying on his speed. There's no question in my mind that he's ready to play and start in his first season for whoever takes him; I see him being taken in the top five of the draft. Normally, I'm against guys coming out early, but when he's a player like Williams, it makes sense." Williams has been "the most dominating player" NFL Media colleague Daniel Jeremiah has watched during the evaluation process. Jeremiah compares Williams to Richard Seymour. Williams has also been compared to J.J. Watt and Gerald McCoy. Jan 28 - 9:59 PM
Source: NFL.com

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Date:

USC DL Leonard Williams "has been the most dominating player" NFL Media's Daniel Jeremiah has watched thus far in the evaluation process.

"Everything you want -- the size, the length, the explosiveness, the versatility. You can play him all over the line on defense," Jeremiah said. "He reminds me a lot of Richard Seymour. That's pretty good company to keep." Our only hang up with Williams is his tendency to put himself a step behind once the ball is snapped due to a poor get off. The strength and power he possesses when using his hands is impressive.
Source: NFL.com
Jan 28 - 12:08 PM

Fast forward five years from now, CBS Sports' Dane Brugler believes USC junior DL Leonard Williams "will be the best NFL player from this draft class."

"Fast forward five years from now and if I had to guess the best NFL player from this draft class, it would be Williams with his combination of athleticism, power and versatility," Brugler wrote. The 6-foot-5, 300-pounder can dominate on the inside or outside, depending on your preference. Williams has been compared to J.J. Watt, Gerald McCoy and Richard Seymour. He figures to greatly interest the Jaguars and Raiders in the top five.
Source: CBS Sports
Jan 27 - 3:39 PM

USC junior DL Leonard Williams "is arguably the best player available in the upcoming class and could be the first non-quarterback drafted," according to CBS Sports' Dane Brugler.

That comment is the industry consensus. "At 6-foot-5 and 298 pounds, Williams has a NFL frame with the strength and athleticism to be a consistent run defender and pass rusher," Brugler wrote. "He has excellent flexibility and fluidity in his joints, hips and lower body with great range and pursuit skills for the position. Williams plays with grown man power and already shows an advanced understanding of how to effectively use his upper and lower body together, rolling his hips to be a people mover. He plays inside like a player 30 pounds heavier and stronger and can also line up outside and turn the edge and flatten like a rusher 30 pounds lighter." Williams has been compared to J.J. Watt, Gerald McCoy and Richard Seymour. He figures to greatly interest the Jaguars and Raiders in the top five. "The biggest worry for NFL teams might be his durability after off-season shoulder surgery," Brugler wrote.
Source: CBS Sports
Tue, Dec 30, 2014 05:46:00 PM

USC junior DL Leonard Williams will declare for the NFL draft.

"This was a very hard decision for me," Williams said in a released statement. "I love USC, Coach [Steve Sarkisian] and the coaching staff, my teammates and the fans, and I love the game of college football. It’s hard to leave all of that. I know life is never the same once you leave college. "But I feel like it’s the right time for me to go. I feel like I’m ready. I’m looking forward to the new challenge that the NFL presents." The 6-foot-5, 300-pounder can dominate on the inside or outside, depending on your preference. Williams has been compared to J.J. Watt, Gerald McCoy and Richard Seymour. He's a likely Top-5 pick in the spring.
Mon, Dec 29, 2014 03:17:00 PM

CBS Sports' Rob Rang notes that USC junior DL Leonard Williams' "quickness and an effective swim move [at defensive tackle] make him virtually impossible for interior linemen at the collegiate level to handle him one-on-one."

Williams has been Rang's top-rated prospect since October. The 6-foot-5, 300-pounder can dominate on the inside or outside, depending on your preference. Williams has been compared to J.J. Watt, Gerald McCoy and Richard Seymour. He's a likely Top-5 pick in the spring.
Source: CBS Sports
Sun, Dec 28, 2014 05:10:00 PM

Despite everyone expecting USC junior DL Leonard Williams to enter the 2015 NFL Draft, he continues to send mixed signals.

"I definitely wanted it to come to this point," he told the LA Times. "Now that I'm at this point, I feel like I'm not finishing what I started. I feel like I'm getting cut short." Williams brought up having to support a two year old child but also expressed how much he enjoys playing at the college level. It would be a major surprise if Williams stayed for another season.
Source: LA Times
Fri, Dec 26, 2014 08:36:00 AM

USC junior DL Leonard Williams was named the Most Valuable Player of the 2014 Trojan football team at their annual awards banquet Wednesday.

The 6-foot-5, 300-pound Williams has 71 tackles, with 8.5 for losses with 6 sacks on his 2014 resume. The USC prospect leads the team in forced fumbles (3) along with 3 deflections, an interception and a fumble recovery. The USC prospect has been compared to the likes of, J.J. Watt, Gerald McCoy and Richard Seymour, and has been talked about as a potential Top-5 pick.
Thu, Dec 18, 2014 02:15:00 PM

USC junior DL Leonard Williams is considered "a lock" to enter the 2015 NFL Draft, according to Rand Getlin.

Getlin notes Williams has been "hedging" on his decision, but it seems to be practically set in stone. It would be a major shock if Williams decided to stay even before this update. Many view Williams a top five lock, but he does have issues getting off the line of scrimmage in a timely manner.
Tue, Dec 16, 2014 01:09:00 PM

USC junior DL Leonard Williams has been named one of six finalists for the Ted Hendricks Award, given to the nation's top defensive end.

The other 5 finalists are Missouri's Shane Ray, Washington's Hau'oli Kikaha, Clemson's Vic Beasley, Utah's Nate Orchard and Ohio State's Joey Bosa. The 6-foot-5, 300-pound Williams has 71 tackles, with 8.5 for losses with 6 sacks on his 2014 resume. The USC prospect leads the team in forced fumbles (3) along with 3 deflections, an interception and a fumble recovery. Williams is a superb physical specimen and has been compared to the likes of, J.J. Watt, Gerald McCoy and Richard Seymour.
Thu, Dec 4, 2014 03:16:00 PM

USC junior DL Leonard Williams said, "I might come back just to beat [UCLA]."

After the Trojans were dominated on Saturday by the Bruins, Williams fell to 0-3 against USC's crosstown rivals. Consider his quote a fun venting of frustration, because it would be a stunner if the projected top-5 pick returned. NFL Media analyst Daniel Jeremiah recently compared Williams to former Patriots All-Pro Richard Seymour, and he's also been likened to J.J. Watt and Gerald McCoy. "Before I went in there, I thought this guy had a lot of hype. When I saw him, I thought he is the real deal," one scout told Sports Illustrated. "He's got a great body, quick off the ball. He did have that shoulder surgery, so he's a little bit behind strength-wise, but he still has plenty of strength. He's got tremendous upside."
Wed, Nov 26, 2014 08:14:00 PM

USC junior DL Leonard Williams looked like a top-5 pick in the UCLA game even though he didn't record a sack, according to Pro Football Focus.

Though he didn't have a sack, Williams recorded three knockdowns and two hurries in his 25 pass rushing snaps. His performance was graded at +4.8 by the website. "Williams is the stud of this unit and talked about as a potential Top-5 pick," wrote Sam Monson. "He looked that in this game even if he didn’t have a sack. Was a force against the run all game long." Williams is a superb physical specimen at 6-foot-5, 300 pounds who has been compared to, among others, J.J. Watt, Gerald McCoy and Richard Seymour.
Mon, Nov 24, 2014 10:49:00 PM

USC junior DL Leonard Williams "was every bit as dominant as expected" on Saturday against UCLA, wrote CBS Sports' Rob Rang.

Rang and colleague Dane Brugler each project Williams as the No. 1 overall pick in this spring's draft. Despite facing constant double teams, Williams recorded a sack and forced a fumble. Because he drew so much attention, his defensive line mates often had open lanes to get into the backfield. The 6-foot-5, 300-pound Williams could be an NFL star from Day 1.
Source: CBS Sports
Sun, Nov 23, 2014 11:48:00 PM

One NFL scout called USC junior DL Leonard Williams "the real deal" after watching him in person.

"He's got a great body, quick off the ball. He did have that shoulder surgery, so he's a little bit behind strength-wise, but he still has plenty of strength," the scout said. "He's got tremendous upside, and he's definitely a consideration for that top pick." He then highlighted the Arizona tape as the one to watch. We are not saying he is a comparable prospect skill wise, but look for Williams to play a J.J. Watt type role for an NFL team.
Source: LA Times
Fri, Nov 21, 2014 08:49:00 AM

CBS Sports' Dane Brugler notes that USC junior DL Leonard Williams' skill-set is "exactly what NFL teams covet in the trenches."

"The stats for the "Big Cat" aren't striking, but he has also toughed through an ankle injury most of the season and his flexibility, movement skills and point of attack strength are exactly what NFL teams covet in the trenches," Brugler wrote. The 6-foot-5, 300-pound Williams has a team-best 6.0 sacks on the season, but has been battling through an ankle injury all year. Brugler adds that, Williams "is the most likely player to hear his name called first at the podium by the commissioner."
Source: CBS Sports
Thu, Nov 20, 2014 02:36:00 PM