In releasing Mike Patterson and Cullen Jenkins, the Eagles have limited options along their defensive line. Add in the new defensive scheme that will be put in place and there are even more questions about who will end up playing where come Week One. Regardless, the Eagles are going to need to add some depth in both the draft and free agency. One option in the draft may be Alabama nose tackle Jesse Williams.
Williams stands at 6-3 and 323 pounds and is relatively new to the game of football. He is originally from Australia and only started playing football at the age of 15. Not only that, but he actually spent two years at Arizona Western Junior College before heading to Tuscaloosa.
In 2011, Williams played the five-technique in Alabama’s defense before spending the 2012 season at the nose tackle position. He could potentially be a guy that could play a bit of both at the next level, but most teams will likely look at Williams as a nose tackle.
Williams has a very strong upper body but tends to be known as a top heavy player. Many believe he could afford to add strength to his lower body. However, I believe Williams holds his own pretty well. He doesn’t tend to get pushed around and has plenty of power to drive blockers into the backfield. This caused him to see a lot of double teams during the 2012 season, and you want your nose tackle to eat up as many double teams as possible.
Another thing I liked out of Williams was how he seemed to never give up on plays. He’s a real hustle guy and I noticed him making a lot of tackles down the field, not something you always see out of a big defensive lineman.
When you look at Williams, you see a strong kid who is raw but has been slowly adding more and more technique to his game. At the next level, he’s going to need a lot of coaching, but I think it leaves his ceiling very high as he tries to develop his raw abilities.
Check out this video of Williams against Tennessee, via DraftBreakdown.com.
If the Eagles are interested in Williams, he should be there when they pick in the second round. They definitely need to add a body or two to the defensive line during the draft. It’s just going to be a matter of where they want to do it.
As far as the nose tackle position goes, the Eagles are hoping that Antonio Dixon will be able to play well there. However, there going to need to add a true nose tackle, and it wouldn’t hurt to add a solid one through the draft that can clog up the middle for many years.
Williams could be a strong option for them. He has a bunch of talent already and I think he can really improve with some solid coaching. I think he’s the type of guy that can get better and better as time goes on and the Eagles need a player they can rely on in the middle.