Williams was considered a key part of the Buckeyes in 2011, a squad still trying to figure out their future with former head coach Jim Tressel forced into retirement due to off-the-field issues surrounding the program. But in the season opener against Akron, the team’s starting defensive end suffered a knee injury that, at first, was only supposed to require arthroscopic surgery to repair. But eventually, it was discovered that micro-fracture surgery would be needed before Williams could return.
The all-state and two-time all-district high school star from Ohio got on the field as a true freshman despite the team’s depth up front (18 tackles, four for loss, two sacks—both against Northwestern). He played in all 13 games in 2009, consistently getting into the backfield (one start, 26 tackles, eight for loss, 3.5 sacks) as he did again the following year as a 10-game starter (12 games played, 45 tackles, 8.5 for loss, 4.5 sacks, interception, three pass break-ups). In Williams' final season, he made 39 tackles (3.5 for loss), and also notched two sacks.
Tough, instinctive player. Upper body power. Challenges the lateral movement of tackles whether playing with his hand down or standing up (and on the left or right side), can accelerate to the quarterback if his man overextends. Contain on bootlegs and misdirection, chases down backs even if they get an advantage on stop-start moves in the backfield. Keeps his eyes in the backfield and uses strong hands to get off blocks to make plays in the hole. Also spin off blocks to grab backs going through the line or chase down scrambling quarterbacks. Plays strong against tight ends outside, showing attitude with his ability to rip off their blocks to free himself.
Left knee must check out medically after having microfracture and athroscopic surgery last fall. A lack of bulk allowsbetter linemen to stone Williams’ advances and control him on the edge. A bit of a 'tweener. His get-off, flexibility and hand usage are not quite enough for him to be an elite pass rusher. Doesn't always take the best angles, and his over-aggressive nature can be used against him. Must sense cut blocks more quickly and use his hands to defeat them.
Williams is a bit of a 'tweener, but he's instinctive and can hold up at the point of attack and provide containment. He's not an overly explosive pass rusher, but he could have value to a team as a backup due to his toughness and mental aptitude.
Future Hall of Famer
A once-in-a-generation type prospect who could change how his position is played
An impact player with the ability/intangibles to become a Pro Bowl player. Expect to start immediately except in a unique situation (i.e. behind a veteran starter).
A quality player who will contribute to the team early on and is expected to develop into a starter. A reliable player who brings value to the position.
A prospect with the ability to make team as a backup/role player. Needs to be a special teams contributor at applicable positions. Players in the high range of this category might have long-term potential.
A player with solid measurables, intangibles, college achievements, or a developing skill that warrants an opportunity in an NFL camp. In the right situation, he could earn a place on a 53-man roster, but most likely will be a practice squad player or a camp body.