Feb. 10, 2015; Scottsdale, AZ, USA; Southern California Trojans defensive tackle Leonard Williams flexes his muscles during training at EXOS gym in preparation for the NFL combine and draft. Mandatory Credit: Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports
Leonard Williams, DE
College Team: Southern California
Size: 6′ 4 and 7/8″, 304 lbs.
Speed: 40yd-4.97, 10yd-1.73
Measurements: Arms-34 and 5/8″, Hands-10 and 5/8″
Leonard Williams is the best player available in the 2015 NFL Draft and it isn’t even close. He isn’t a perfect prospect but he has dominated on the USC Trojans defensive team for 3 years. He would fit perfectly at DE in the Redskins 3-4 defense and has played that same role in the USC defense.
Williams is a remarkably agile athlete with long arms and legs which he uses to his advantage well. He uses his arms well to keep blockers away from his body and easily sheds those blockers to make plays versus the run and the pass. Once he is free from the blocks, Williams quickness to the QB is uncanny and unmatched by any other players of his size.
Williams has excellent field vision and keeps himself in position to make a play
Williams possesses natural football instincts akin to many of the top linebackers in the draft. Williams has excellent field vision and keeps himself in position to make a play on the ball. He sees runners coming and sheds blocks and make tackles with ease.
Williams functional strength is on display whenever he manhandles offensive linemen. He has a lean frame that could pack on additional weight and muscle once he is part of an NFL strength and conditioning program.
Williams tends to play high at times. This is generally a big weakness for many defensive linemen but Williams actually uses it to his advantage by using his excellent field vision and long arms to free himself up to make tackles.
Williams needs to work on his technique a lot. If he can improve his quickness off the snap and learn to set up blockers more, he can become an even more dominating defender.
Williams has struggled with injuries in 2013 and 2014. He had ankle and shoulder injuries but he played through them and missed very little time on the field.
If the Redskins are lucky enough to draft Williams, he would be an immediate starter at DE. Even with the signing of Stephen Paea and Ricky Jean-Francois and the return of Jason Hatcher, the Redskins should put Williams in at LDE and let him develop on the field.
Williams has the athletic talents to be as good as he wants to be. If he matches his physical talents with the understanding of how to play defensive line in the NFL, He will be an All-Pro within three years and rank as one of the very best players in the league. He needs good coaching to help him along the way.
Williams is the only player in this draft that is worthy of a top five selection and maybe the only worthy of a top 10 pick. This draft is very weak at the top and if Williams is not available to them, the Redskins must seek to trade down if they are able to find a trading partner.
Next: Number Two Redskins Draft Prospect