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If New York Jets first round draft pick Quinnen Williams follows recent trends, the defensive tackle will be a star. At the very least, Williams may be an All-Pro or even just a solid contributor to a Jets defense in need of saving. Here's why.
Long Line of Alabama DTs
Williams played for Nick Saban at Alabama. The Crimson Tide have routinely churned out NFL-quality defensive tackles in an almost assembly line fashion. The Washington Redskins thought so highly of Alabama defensive tackles they selected one each in the first rounds of the 2017 and 2018 drafts. Daron Payne, drafted in 2018, and Jonathan Allen (2017) are two players on the rise. Marcell Dareus was the third overall selection in the 2011 draft and was an All-Pro by 2014. The history is there and Williams is yet another who was trained by the best.
Low Bust Rate
Since 2010, there have been 15 defensive tackles selected in the top-15. Only two could be considered true busts. In 2011, the Detroit Lions took Nick Fairley out of Auburn with the 13th overall pick. Inconsistent play and injuries led to Fairley's demise. Fairley last played in the league in 2016.
Danny Shelton was the 12th overall selection in the 2015 draft taken by the Cleveland Browns. While Shelton played three seasons in Cleveland, his performance was not that of a first-round draft pick. Shelton was traded to New England last season and won a Super Bowl ring as a member of the Patriots. Still, he is considered a bust.
Consider the rest of those 15 defensive tackles. Six of them have made multiple trips to the Pro Bowl. Ndamukong Suh and Aaron Donald made the Pro Bowl as rookies. Gerald McCoy, Fletcher Cox, Dontari Poe, and Dareus have all been the to Pro Bowl more than once. With the recent trend in highly drafted defensive tackles, Williams seems more likely to be a Pro Bowler than a bust.
At 6-feet-3-inches and 303 pounds, Williams has all the physical characteristics that any NFL team would covet in a big-time defensive tackle. Along with size, Williams has run in the 4.8 range in the 40-yard dash and has a vertical jump of 30.5 inches. He is explosive and quick, which makes him the perfect defensive tackle in today's day and age of professional football.
Williams should have plenty of shelf life as well. Before starting in 2018, Williams was a rotational player in Alabama's defensive line factory. He played just 151 snaps prior to the 2018 season.