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Redskins Combine countdown: USC DT Leonard Williams

Feb 5, 2015, 9:14 AM EDT

The NFL Combine gets underway in Indianapolis in just 13 days. I will be there and in between now and then I’ll be doing a lot of work getting up to speed on the draft class of 2015. Along the way I’ll be sharing some of what I find out with Real Redskins readers. The focus will be on players in areas of need for the Redskins but I might look at players at just about any position since Scot McCloughan has said that he will take the best player available regardless of need.

Leonard Williams
Defensive Tackle

Height: 6-4
Weight: 290


What they’re saying

An exceptional talent, boasting a rare combination of size, easy athleticism and raw power to go along with a passion for the game. Possesses a naturally large frame with broad shoulders, long limbs and a trim middle that makes it easy to see why the Trojans have rotated him all over the defensive line.

Rob Rang and Dane Brugler, CBS

How he fits the Redskins: The team has an aging and expensive defensive line and Williams would be an instant, huge upgrade. From the defensive end position in a 3-4 set he could dominate against the run and the pass. Slide him in at tackle in a 4-3 front and he can collapse the interior. Line him up anywhere along the front in an exotic two-man line and watch him disrupt. And, by the way, he’s just 20 years old. If the Redskins manage to draft him he could still be playing when they move into a new stadium in the late 2020’s.

Potential issues: The biggest issue is that he may not be available when the Redskins draft. Many analysts have him as the top prospect on the board. If the Redskins want him they have to hope for a scenario where QB’s Jameis and Marcus Mariota go in the top five and the other two teams drafting ahead of them need a receiver like Amari Cooper of Alabama or an edge pass rusher like Randy Gregory of Nebraska ahead of Williams.

There are some who say that Williams is best suited to playing in a 4-3 defense. It’s true that at 290 pounds he doesn’t have the ideal weight for a 3-4 linemen. But J. J. Watt weighs in under 300 pounds and he seems to operate fine in the Texans’ 3-4. If I’m McCloughan I tell Joe Barry and defensive line coach Robb Akey to figure out how to make Williams an All-Pro or I’ll find someone who will.

Bottom line: In 2011 the Redskins had a chance to draft J. J. Watt but they traded back instead. If they are on the clock with Williams on the board they should immediately turn in the card with his name on it.

  1. timwillhidetimwillhide - Feb 5, 2015 at 12:03 PM

    He will be long gone

    • captblood3000 - Feb 5, 2015 at 10:11 PM

      Stranger things have happened. Consider Aaron Rodgers.

      • timwillhidetimwillhide - Feb 6, 2015 at 1:44 AM

        Unlike Rogers this guy is widely considered the top guy I dont see his sliding down to us at all Titans, Jaguas, and Oakland could all use him. If he drops at all he wont get past the Jaguars

  2. redskinscaio - Feb 5, 2015 at 12:25 PM

    The Redskins already have decent defensive linemen under contract for this year. What they don’t have are safeties, pro bowl offensive linemen, or depth at middle linebacker. I pray to the football heavenly Gods that the Skins either draft an offensive linemen or a middle linebacker with the 5th pick. HTTR

    • Rich Tandler - Feb 5, 2015 at 12:34 PM

      They won’t. Zero chance that a RT or G or ILB is the best available at No. 5. The draft is not about 2015. It’s about 2016 and beyond.

      > > >

    • ifthethunderdontgetya™³²®© - Feb 5, 2015 at 12:40 PM

      Rich is right. If L. Williams is there, we take him. Otherwise, we might be able to trade back 5 spots or so and get one of the top OTs. (I don’t think anyone at OT is worth the #5 pick now that R. Stanley returned to Notre Dame.)

      So if Williams is gone, and we can’t trade back, it’ll be BPA. Which could well be an OLB.

    • skins1970 - Feb 6, 2015 at 1:19 AM

      Scot believes in BPA and there is no one at those positions worth taking there .For example If we want Brandon Scherff, we can trade down and get draft him anywhere between the picks of 10-15 IMO.

  3. ET - Feb 5, 2015 at 1:54 PM

    I don’t think there’s a chance in hell that Williams is still there at 5. But it’d be great if he is.

    Williams? Ray? Scherff? Shelton? Who knows. I’ll only be annoyed if we pick a QB or WR at #5.

    • Joe Greene - Feb 5, 2015 at 4:37 PM

      That’s crazy. There’s a WR in Cooper who is legitimately worth considering at #5 while Scherff and Shelton have obvious flaws that likely keep them from being considered that high. Take the BPA, regardless of position, and try to trade down if we don’t like what’s available.

      I just want to sit back and watch a real GM do his thing in DC for the first time in decades.

      • hitmeimopen - Feb 5, 2015 at 6:57 PM

        That last part is the best thing of all. I strangely have confidence in the guy.

        • Joe Greene - Feb 5, 2015 at 9:36 PM

          He’s been a major part of building 3 SB teams. I have complete confidence in him.

      • timwillhidetimwillhide - Feb 6, 2015 at 1:33 AM

        Scherff would move inside a nd be a Probowl Gaurd which I dont see as a flaw but anyways what do you see as Shelton’s Flaw? 6 sacks from a NT That is built like a NT

        • Joe Greene - Feb 6, 2015 at 5:00 AM

          Yawn. Shelton was a no show in plenty of games. If sacks are all that matters, why wasn’t Shelton being talked about as a top 10 guy by anyone until the Senior Bowl? I’ll tell you why, because 7 of his 9 sacks last year were against Hawaii, Eastern Washington, and Georgia State. He had 2 sacks in 9 games against real opponents. He had 1 solo tackle against Cal and Illinois, 2 against Colorado, Oregon St. and UCLA, and 0 against Washington St. He was very inconsistent against legitimate teams and dominated against an FCS opponent, a 1 win Sun Belt team, and a 4 win Mountain West team.

          He’s a late first round talent based on game film who might be something as a pro if he gets to be more consistent.

          Scherff cannot handle speed rushers at all and is way softer in the run game than internet draft “gurus” like to say he is. I don’t even see a top tier OG in him, just one that will start for a while in the league and be a backup at several positions as he gets older.

        • skinsgame - Feb 6, 2015 at 6:22 AM

          So, if Scott takes Shelton or Scherff, we’ll all know Joe thinks he’s an idiot. In reading his “analysis” in which he ironically criticizes “Internet gurus”, it seems clear he thinks neither player has any business being drafted AT ALL, let alone in the 1st round.

        • timwillhidetimwillhide - Feb 6, 2015 at 8:05 AM

          Shelton has binconsidered in the top 10 on before the Senior Bowl whereyou are getting he was not is beyond me. Mike Mayoke thinks hes a top 10 guy you are the only one Ive heard any different from. Plus players are going against top talent in the Draft in the Senior Bowl and Practices so if hes dominating the other players there and has the measurables for a NT wich we need I dont see why he would not be a good pick

        • Joe Greene - Feb 6, 2015 at 5:51 PM

          Nobody had Shelton in the top 10 before the Senior Bowl you lying piece of crap. Nobody had him there.

 is nothing. Nobody cares what that 1999 Geocities looking website says. Nobody.

          ESPN? Who cares? Kiper and McShay are lunatics who put out so many mocks that they literally can claim to have a player rated anywhere by the end of the process.

          Mayock has simply said he “could be” a top 10 pick and nothing more. He has absolutely NOT placed him in his own top 10 as of yet. But, that would require you to be able to read and not lie about things, and you’re categorically incapable of doing so.

          Once again, I’ll point out the FACTS about Shelton. He had 9 sacks, but 7 were against 3 bad teams. He had 2 sacks in 10 real games (including the bowl game). He had 93 tackles, only 54 solo, and even those skewed heavily to the 3 games against inferior opponents (37 tackles, 25 solo). That puts him at 39.8% total tackles, 46.3% solo tackles, and 77.8% sacks in 3 games against terrible teams. That’s a warning sign to anyone who’s paying attention. If McCloughan takes him at #5, I’ll trust the pick, but I’d be extremely surprised if we see that happen.

        • timwillhidetimwillhide - Feb 7, 2015 at 9:50 AM

          You’re a moron Tubby look at the Mock Drafts they all have him in the top 10 before the senior bowl instead of just flapping your fat lips quit shoveling food into your mouth for a minute and look it up. Unlie you I watch the all star games and Mayok said he was top 10.

    • skins1970 - Feb 6, 2015 at 1:23 AM

      Scot said he likes big WRs if Amari Cooper is there at 5 and we can’t trade down I wouldn’t be shocked if we drafted him.

      • Joe Greene - Feb 6, 2015 at 5:02 AM

        Wouldn’t surprise me either. Cooper has the build of Roddy White but supposedly ran a 4.31 last year at Alabama’s pro day (White was a 4.47 guy).

    • mr.moneylover - Feb 9, 2015 at 10:01 AM

      Wide receiver is they last option we can find a talent wide receiver thats undrafted….what redskins really need is a tight end that can block and move jordan reed to wide receiver…I expect redskins to draft shane ray or L.williams with the #5 pick

  4. Joe Greene - Feb 5, 2015 at 9:38 PM

    Where are we getting the 6’4″ 290 listing for Williams? USC lists him at 6’5″ 300 now.

  5. captblood3000 - Feb 5, 2015 at 10:10 PM

    If the Redskins also have Williams as #1 on their Big Board (3000 points on the draft value chart, right) and he’s available at #5 (1700 points), they have to treat any trade offers for #5 as if they were trading away the #1. So if Williams is available at #5, McCloughan doesn’t necessarily take the phone off the hook, but his asking price for that pick could and should be awfully high, and the trading partner would have
    to be looking at moving up just a few spots in the first round. The short answer is Rich’s: draft the guy.

    • Joe Greene - Feb 5, 2015 at 11:27 PM

      The only way I trade down from 5 if Williams is there is if Cleveland offers 12 and 19 this year, plus 1st rounders in 2016 and 2017. That’s it. Nobody else has enough to make it work.

  6. mr.moneylover - Feb 9, 2015 at 9:52 AM

    I really like this guy skills and shane ray they both are play makers…I wouldn’t be mad if they get one of them…they both got good talent Archives

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