From Around The Block’s Daniel Flick, which was at Mississippi Pro Day on March 24, outside prospect Ole Miss Sam Williams will travel to Green Bay on one of his three scheduled visits during the pre-draft process. Here’s what you need to know about the projected mid-term selection.
One of the first things – and potentially the reason the Packers requested a visit – that will come up when you look at Sam Williams’ name is his prior arrest. In the summer of 2020, the linebacker was charged with sexual assault, which resulted in an indefinite suspension that lasted approximately six weeks until he was reinstated when the charges were dropped before the start of the game. season.
Although the Packers haven’t received many question marks recently, they just signed defensive lineman Jarran Reed, who allegedly assaulted a woman in 2017 and was suspended for six games in 2019 by the NFL for the ‘incident. Green Bay has previously used pre-draft visits to examine players with character red flags, like running back Joe Mixon and rusher Noah Spence in recent years.
As a player, Williams started his football career late as a prep and didn’t have the grades to qualify for the top schools that were interested in him in the recruiting process, so he spent a few years at the Northeast Mississippi Community College. By the time he finished his JuCo stint, he had offers at Oregon, Texas A&M, Auburn, LSU and Florida State, but made his only official visit to Mississippi, where he ultimately played his final three seasons, with the help from the additional “Covid season” that the NCAA has provided.
Williams played the 4i technical position for the Rebels, which is often seen in the Southeastern Conference. Due to heavy RPO offenses in the league, many conference “edge rusher” prospects end up playing on the inside shoulder of the tackle, like Georgia’s Travon Walker, instead of really playing on the edge, so as the defenses try to stop. racing with light boxes. Because of this, Williams often played in a four-point position that limited his clearance and penetration production, as well as slamming the actual edge of defense.
Originally playing in the NFLPA Collegiate Bowl during the pre-draft process, he was a late addition to the Senior Bowl, which along with his combine helped boost his draft stock. At the NFLPA Collegiate Bowl, he was named team captain and game MVP.
On the court, Williams is a very driving player who did most of his production later in the down due to his level of effort. He’s a strong player, especially for a 261-pounder, which is why he was able to stick around as an inside defenseman despite being built as a 3-4 outside linebacker.
Because of the position he played in, he didn’t get a lot of true one-on-one peak reps, so there’s some screening that will have to be done there. That being said, his 40-yard rush time of 4.46 seconds and three-cone time of 7.03 seconds correlates very well with NFL success.
His best passing move right now is his long arm, which isn’t surprising given how strong he is in play. Williams’ big selling point is that if he can match speed moves, which would seem possible given his test numbers, to his power moves, he could then become a professional-level all-rounder.
At the moment, Williams is very raw, despite the extra season of college football due to the pandemic. He’s currently a smaller power rusher, skill-wise, who does a better job of breaching the pocket than disengaging on blocks and finishing his own presses.
While his test numbers correlate with success on the edge, his actual reps on the edge leave more to be desired athletically. This is where the eye of the beholder is going to significantly influence what you think of Williams’ assessment. On the one hand, you can argue that he was playing out of position and should be able to develop those skills better as a professional. On the other hand, we’ve seen players like Solomon Thomas never quite reach their potential, despite being in a similar out-of-position situation at college level with high-end defender Test numbers.
The combination of buffer level and core resistance also causes problems on the film. Although he often starts playing with his hand in the ground, even in a four-point position, Williams gets up quickly in a way that exposes his body and leads him to be twisted and out of position to make the difference on Games. Will it improve if he’s in a two-point position as an outside linebacker?
In film, Sam Williams looks like a fourth-round outside linebacker prospect, which is roughly where he ranks on the editorial board by consensus. He’s a strong player with a potentially untapped edge as an edge defender due to the fact he’s been asked to play so many inside shots at Ole Miss.
The absolute wildcard in his assessment is what teams do with his 2020 sexual battery charge, which was ultimately dropped. Ultimately, maybe that’s why Green Bay invited him to a meeting in the first place.