Quinnen Williams: Why I should go No. 1 in 2019 NFL Draft

NFL Media's Oklahoma Drill series presents exclusive, quick-hitting one-on-one interviews with players and coaches from around the league. No nonsense -- just football experiences directly from the source.

Quinnen Williams

Defensive tackle, Alabama

Born: Dec. 21, 1997

Experience: Draft prospect

Interview by Brooke Cersosimo | Feb. 6, 2019

My diet is very strict right now. I usually eat a lot, just gaining weight playing nose guard during the season. But right now, I'm trying to get lean. I eat a lot of fish, a lot of healthy foods. Being in California, it's really easy because there's a lot of organic things to eat and turkey bacon. I eat turkey bacon and eggs for breakfast, lunch and dinner some days. I see results every day and every week. My body fat is going down and I'm gaining muscle, so I'm enjoying it.

Everybody sees Aaron Donald's body, and I'm trying to get that body. It's a very high goal to reach right there because he's got abs and he's like 290.

The toughest part about switching to D-tackle was learning to sit on double-teams against 300-pounders. I was like 275 at the time going against almost 600 pounds -- it was very hard and it's not like they were going to let up on me or anything like that. I had to practice that every day and work at it every day.

I look at Aaron Donald as a learning tool. I can learn from everything he does, but there's been people who did it before Aaron Donald like Warren Sapp, Gerald McCoy, Fletcher Cox. There's a lot of people who do it the same way, but he gets the sacks. I can learn different techniques from all of these guys, but he's a great player to sit and watch.

He's definitely opening the door for guys like me to be drafted so high because [the position] is needed and you see how he works. It's the opportunity for me to show the world that I can do the same thing. People say there's only one Aaron Donald, but there could be only one Quinnen Williams, too.

I can't really say I model my game after one person because I'm a person who likes a lot of stuff. Aaron Donald has a great get-off, so I'm going to try to perfect that like him. I know Gerald McCoy uses his hands very well and has great technique -- I want to do that also. I see everything Fletcher Cox does and he's so big and can do all of it. I just take something from a lot of guys.

[Daron Payne] and I talk every day about just little stuff, like how to spend your money or how practice is going. We're from the same city (Birmingham, Alabama), so I try to follow in his footsteps. He taught me a lot of stuff on how to defeat double-teams and all that stuff. He was a first-round draft pick, so I really learned a lot of stuff from him. We're very close.

Being disciplined in everything you do and carry yourself like a pro on the field and off the field. [That's the biggest takeaway I had from playing for Nick Saban.] And attention to details.

I'm really not worried about how high I'm drafted. I just really want to work hard and do what I gotta do to make it to the NFL and make it on a team.

But why should I be the No. 1 draft pick? Because I'm all about working. My IQ level is through the roof. I can sit down and break down film of a quarterback and [identify] tendencies and stuff like that. I work very hard on the field and off the field. I'm a team player, I'm a coachable player and I really listen. I'm just ready to get out there and learn from the veterans, who I watch on "Madden."

I have a lot of goals [for the 2019 NFL Scouting Combine]. For every drill, I have times I want to hit. And the time may be outrageous in my head if I said it out loud, but I'm working hard to get those times. If I'm close to those [marks], it will still be great, but I've got some time.

Something I learned from the [2019] national championship game was to pay attention to details. Going into that week, it wasn't like a normal week. Everybody was laid back, everybody was going through the motions. We really didn't take it as serious as a championship game. So attention to detail, no matter who you play, is huge to me. And keep your mind in the moment. A lot of guys weren't in the moment, a lot of guys were thinking about other things at the time.

Oh, yes. I love chocolate chip cookies. Those definitely aren't in my diet right now.

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