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Leonard Williams | Defensive Tackle

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

Latest News

Recent News

USC junior DL Leonard Williams "is earning comparisons from scouts to everyone from [J.J.] Watt to Tampa Bay defensive tackle Gerald McCoy," according to CBS Sports' Rob Rang.
"The best player in the NFL this season very well may be Houston Texans defensive end J.J. Watt, but if teams were allowed to draft veterans, a number of Pro Bowl quarterbacks would be selected ahead of him," Rang wrote. "The 2015 NFL Draft could demonstrate the same value of the game's most important position. While Southern Cal defensive end Leonard Williams has been the most impressive player I've seen this season, quarterbacks Marcus Mariota and Jameis Winston are more likely to generate wins for their future NFL franchises." Williams might be the draft's safest prospect, a player who could be a Pro Bowler in Year 1, but, for the reasons Rang mentioned, he isn't likely to go No. 1 overall. Williams has collected 45 tackles, including five for loss and 4.5 sacks this season. Oct 22 - 8:26 PM
Source: CBS Sports

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Player News

Date:

SI's Chris Burke believes USC junior DL Leonard Williams projects as a defensive tackle in the NFL.

Last week, while ranking Williams as his No. 1 overall prospect, ESPN's Todd McShay wrote that Williams' "best projection is as a 5-technique defensive end, but he has the quickness and point-of-attack skills to perform inside as a 3-technique." Basically, that means J.J. Watt's role. "The discussion is not indicative of any uncertainty surrounding Williams' game, but rather confirmation of his wide-ranging game," Burke wrote.
Oct 21 - 10:15 PM

USC junior DL Leonard Williams is the new No. 1 prospect on Todd McShay's board.

"Williams moves up to the No. 1 spot in this week's rankings, as we've had more of an opportunity to watch his performance," McShay writes. We all know Williams is an outstanding talent and even made an impact despite a fairly serious leg injury. McShay believes Williams's best projection is as a 5-technique end while seeing some time inside at 3-technique. In layman's terms, this is a similar role to JJ Watt. We aren;t saying he is of an equal talent, but expect teams to select him accordingly. Marcus Mariota dropped one spot to No. 2.
Source: ESPN
Oct 15 - 2:34 PM

USC junior DL Leonard Williams went No. 1 overall in CBS Sports' Rob Rang's most recent mock draft.

The NFLDraftScout.com staff currently projects Oakland to land in the top spot. With Derek Carr, the team won't be in the market for another quarterback. "The Raiders have one of the oldest rosters in the NFL and desperately need young talent on a defensive line that is currently filled with veteran cast-offs acquired via free agency," Rang wrote. "Oakland could be in a situation to trade out of this pick for a quarterback-needy franchise, but with a supreme talent like Williams available, it would be a win-win. Wiliams might be the best player in the entire draft and gives the Raiders a building block to pair with Khalil Mack in the front-seven." The 6-foot-5, 300-pounder collected 11 tackles, one sack and a tackle for loss nursing a high-ankle sprain versus Stanford a few weekends ago in a game that was critical for his evaluation.
Source: CBS Sports
Sep 17 - 8:25 PM

USC junior DL Leonard Williams was described by a veteran NFC scout as "a special player."

The scout said Williams had unique physical traits. "He raved about Williams' exceptional frame and lauded his strength, power and athleticism," NFL.com passed along. "The evaluator discussed the difficulties of finding a big guy who is light on his feet, yet displays the brute strength and power to overwhelm blockers at the point of attack. The scout also pointed to Williams' age (20) as an enticing factor in his evaluation." The 6-foot-5, 300-pounder collected 11 tackles, one sack and a tackle for loss against Stanford last week while playing with a high-ankle sprain. He has the potential to be special.
Source: NFL.com
Sep 10 - 4:52 PM

USC junior DL Leonard Williams "flashed dominance" in Saturday's game against Stanford, NFL.com's Bucky Brooks wrote.

Williams was ranked as one of Brooks' Week 2 draft stock risers. "The Trojans' star defender made quite an impact on the game despite nursing a gimpy ankle that limited his mobility and explosiveness," Brooks wrote. "Williams tallied 11 tackles, one sack and a tackle for loss against a physical Stanford offensive line that's as good as any in the country. Although Williams couldn't sustain his disruptive presence for the entire game, he certainly flashed enough dominance in key spots to help the Trojans engineer an early-season upset on the road." CBS Sports' Dane Brugler wrote earlier this week that Williams "at 50-60 percent is still better than most defensive linemen in college football – that's how dominant he is." No argument from us.
Source: NFL.com
Sep 9 - 8:20 PM

CBS Sports' Dane Brugler believes USC junior DL Leonard Williams "at 50-60 percent is still better than most defensive linemen in college football – that's how dominant he is."

Despite nursing a high-ankle sprain on Saturday against Stanford, the 6-foot-5, 300 pound Williams, made his presence known in USC's upset versus Stanford on Saturday. The USC prospect finished the game with 11 tackles, with one tackle for loss and one sack. Brugler notes that Williams was able to be "effective with his quickness and strength, both qualities that were evident against Stanford's physical offensive line."
Source: CBS Sports
Sep 9 - 1:55 PM

USC junior DL Leonard Williams' stellar performance on Saturday against Stanford "is one scouts will point to during the pre-draft process," writes TFY Draft Insider's Tony Pauline.

Williams acquitted himself well when lined up across from Stanford's Andrus Peat. "Despite being hampered with a sprained ankle which prevented him from playing fulltime against Stanford, Williams posted a team leading 11 tackles while also adding a sack and one tackle for loss," Pauline wrote. "His hustle and intensity were impressive and this could go a long way in securing Williams as a top six pick next April. Why then is he not listed as a Riser? Stanford’s offensive line is not battle tested as four-fifths graduated to the NFL after last season. Boston College next week then UCLA and Notre Dame during November are better challenges for Williams." 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.
Sep 8 - 5:09 PM

In his latest mock draft, CBS Sports' Dane Brugler believes USC junior DL Leonard Williams "might be the best player in the entire draft," and with the No. 2 pick "it gives the Raiders a building block to pair with Khalil Mack in the front seven."

"They luck out in this situation with a supreme talent like Williams available; he might be the best player in the entire draft and gives the Raiders a building block to pair with Khalil Mack in the front seven," Brugler wrote. With the Raiders getting a little bit long in the tooth along the defensive line, Brugler thinks the Raiders need an "injection of young talent" at the position, which is "currently filled with veteran cast-offs acquired via free agency."
Source: CBS Sports
Sep 8 - 4:32 PM

USC junior DL Leonard Williams played well despite nursing a high-ankle sprain on Saturday against Stanford, wrote CBS Sports' Rob Rang.

Draft analysts were salivating at the idea of Williams lining up across from Stanford's Andrus Peat, but it didn't happen as much as everyone hoped. When it did, CBS Sports liked Williams' side. "Despite [the ankle sprain], Williams showed impressive agility and acceleration, nearly tracking down Stanford's star receiver and returner Ty Montgomery for a big tackle for loss in the second quarter," Rang wrote. "Montgomery had lined up as the Wildcat quarterback on the play and was forced to retrieve an errant snap. Williams' pursuit helped lead Montgomery into the arms of USC teammates, who will get the credit for the 16-yard loss to end the first quarter but were put in great position by the junior defensive lineman to do so."
Source: CBS Sports
Sep 7 - 7:47 PM

USC junior DL Leonard Williams is nursing a high-ankle sprain that "will probably make him less than 100 percent against Stanford," reports Scott Wolf of the Los Angeles Daily News.

Williams rolled an ankle during Tuesday's practice. He was checked out by the team's trainers and given an ankle brace for his left foot. Williams did not return to the practice field. While the injury isn't expected to force him out of game action, it's a little disconcerting nonetheless. Williams, after all, played with a torn labrum last season and comes with durability concerns. He's so monstrously talented, however, that he made 74 tackles last season as a 290-pounder playing at, in his own estimation, 65 percent strength/health. We'll be curious to see how much mobility he retains in Saturday afternoon's monster matchup against the Cardinal.
Sep 2 - 9:06 PM

USC junior DL Leonard Williams is a legitimate candidate to go No. 1 overall in the spring, CBS Sports' Rob Rang believes.

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. He added 15 pounds of beef this offseason and now weighs 305. "The game seems to come easy for Williams, whose unique blend of size, athleticism and power, could make him a legitimate candidate for No. 1 overall should the young quarterbacks falter," Rang wrote.
Source: CBS Sports
Aug 25 - 7:04 PM

USC junior DL Leonard Williams was graded by NFL.com as the No. 3 player in the country.

"He is a dominant player on tape. He has a rare blend of size, length and explosiveness," Daniel Jeremiah said. The USC prospect should be a bit more sturdy in the trenches this year after gaining 15 pounds this offseason (he's up to 305). "Powerful interior defender with outstanding first-step quickness and body control. Williams should dominate the Pac-12 now that he's healthy and ready to go," Bucky Brooks said. Charles Davis says Williams has "breathtaking athleticism," Gil Brandt calls him a "great pass rusher," and Bryan Fischer said Williams "might be the most talented defensive player to come through USC in the past decade."
Source: NFL.com
Aug 24 - 11:11 PM

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

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