INDIANAPOLIS -- Former Alabama linebacker Tim Williams acknowledged past failed drug tests at the NFL Scouting Combine on Saturday, confirming one of the reasons NFL scouts are said to have off-field concerns about one of the draft's most gifted pass rushers.
"(I'm a) young player making decisions that I grew from," Williams said. "That's what life is about -- being a man on and off the field, owning up to your mistakes. Everyone makes them. I'm not here dancing around and joking. I know I'm here with something to prove. I'm obviously behind the eight-ball, so I'm here to prove not only to myself but to every organization that if they get me, they're going to get the best player here."
Williams did not say what substance he has tested positive for, nor how many failed drug tests are in his past. Another off-field concern for NFL scouts regarding Williams is a gun charge he incurred last September. Those issues, combined with Williams' prolific ability to pressure the quarterback, make for a tricky draft evaluation for NFL clubs. Williams, for his part, is owning his mistakes and recognizes there is no escaping the thoroughness of the research NFL clubs put into evaluating prospects.
"I'm going in and being completely honest. This is a billion-dollar industry. They've got all their homework and they know everything about you," Williams said. "You can't go in there and just be dishonest, because a first impression is a last impression. ... So far they've respected me for that."
As a junior in 2015, he played a substitution role and still managed 10.5 sacks despite rarely playing on first and second down. Last year, with more playing time, he tallied nine sacks.
NFL Network draft expert Mike Mayock ranked Williams as the No. 2 edge rusher in the draft, behind potential No. 1 overall pick Myles Garrett, entering the combine.