It’s almost ridiculous to think that we have to highlight why Leonard Williams should be drafted by the Jacksonville Jaguars.
Leonard Williams is hands down the best player in the 2015 NFL Draft and he should be one of the top picks. He’s the best player at his position (defensive tackle/defensive end) and probably has the biggest gap between him and the next best player than any other position except safety. He’s a sure thing in a draft with many positions crowded with big potential talent.
The only reason he may fall to third overall is because the teams picking in the first two spots are in need of a quarterback.
The Jaguars would be wise to make sure Williams doesn’t fall any lower.
One of the most overlooked aspects of his game is his versatility. He can play along almost any spot on the defensive line. While he wouldn’t do well as a nose tackle in a 3-4, Williams plays the three technique defensive tackle position extremely well and can also play at the defensive end spots as well. Jaguars general manager Dave Caldwell said, “I think he can probably play anywhere he wants.” That is the truth of it.
That versatility should not be overlooked by a Jaguars front office that needs a player who can be a foundation piece. They currently have some quality defensive tackles on the roster, but letting Williams dominate in whatever scheme works best is a logical step forward.
If we need to highlight his consistency in being a factor in games, we need look no further than the two seasons of double-digit tackles for a loss and three seasons with at least six sacks when playing for the USC Trojans. Tack on 218 tackles over three years and you have a player who is in on every play and succeeding against opposing offensive lines no matter what they do to stop him. With an impressive eight passes defended and five forced fumbles, it is clear that Williams continues the play up until the very end. He doesn’t stop when he doesn’t get to the quarterback. His motor is going all the time.
The Jaguars shouldn’t over-think this pick. Yes, they need a pass rusher. Yes, they need to fill a number of other needs.
But Leonard Williams is something rare. Get him while you can and make everything else fall in place later.
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