PFF Scouting Report: Tim Williams, OLB, Alabama
Name: Tim Williams
Position fit: Edge defender, best fit as an outside linebacker in a 3-4
Stats to know: 16.2 pass-rushing productivity, ranked eighth among all edge defenders in 2016
What he does best:
- His raw speed off the edge is too much for many offensive tackles to match, helping him to average a pressure once every 4.9 pass-rushing attempts.
- Williams would often set up offensive tackles with speed off the edge, then counter inside with a subtle step. This allowed him to rack up 41 hits and sacks over the past three seasons, on just 482 pass-rushing attempts
- Better against the run that he’s given credit for. Strength at the point of attack helped him to make a tackle resulting in a defensive stop on 12.7 percent of his snaps in run defense.
- Williams saw an increase in playing time in 2016 with 428 snaps on the field, up from 197 in 2015, and maintained his strong grades and productivity across the board.
- He’s stronger than his frame suggests, showed the ability to jack up defenders and shed blocks in the run game.
- Williams can shoot gaps and make plays in the backfield.
- He impressed against a draftable prospect in USC right tackle Zach Banner to open the season, beating him for five QB hurries on 17 pass-rushing snaps.
- Owns a great first step and the ability to change direction.
- Williams still has room to improve, but has shown growth every season in college, so there’s reason to believe that will continue in the NFL.
- 428 snaps on defense this year were the most in a single season of William’s collegiate career. That’s 684 career snaps less than Tennessee’s Derek Barnett played in 2016 alone.
- Williams still has room to improve against the run; 168 snaps against the run over the past three years provides a very limited sample size.
- His raw speed off the edge has proven too much against collegiate offensive tackles; it remains to be seen how he would do against better athletes at the position in the NFL.
- Williams seemed to slow down at the end of the year, with three or fewer QB pressures in four of his final give games.
NFL player comparison: Elvis Dumervil, Baltimore Ravens
Dumervil has been one of the better pass-rushing threats in the league since entering the NFL, and while he mainly fills a pass-rush-only role for Baltimore, there’s still tremendous value in that. Williams can slot into that role for a defense while he grows into a more complete defender.
Williams is something of a gamble given how few snaps he has played throughout his college career, meaning there is ultimately more projection than other prospects on the edge. Worst case scenario, though, he can be a pass-rushing specialist and should cause opposing offenses problems from day one.