Here's the quote about Sam Williams you may have seen in Lindy's Sports preseason college football annual, which was from an anonymous coach: 

"Their defensive end Sam Williams, that SOB is a legit first-round NFL draft choice. The guy is freak show. He could be one to watch in the SEC. He is a phenomenal talent. He's a powerful guy and he knocks people on their asses. But he will take plays off and go to lunch. If he played every down, he could play on Alabama's defense, and Ole Miss doesn't have a lot of those."

Two weeks ago, Williams forced two fumbles against Austin Peay, and scooped one of them up en route to scoring a 33-yard touchdown. 

Alabama is the first ranked opponent the Ole Miss defense will see this season. 

Taking advantage of having an extra year of eligibility, Williams is playing to improve his draft stock especially, but also for his son Sam Jr. who was born 10 months ago. Like former Alabama offensive lineman Lester Cotton, he's added "Sr." to the back of his name. 

“First off, I have a son I have to go hard for, and my coach always said never let a man judge your heart or your effort, and I saw those articles and I took it to heart," he said about media criticism. "I won’t ever let a man judge my heart or my effort any more.”

Sam Williams 

Jersey: No. 13
Position: Defensive end 
Height: 6-4
Weight: 265
DOB: 3/31/99
Draft eligible: 2022
Hometown: Montgomery, Alabama
High School: Lee 

Background

Full name is Samuel Degarrick Williams. Attended Northeast Mississippi Community College in 2017 and 2018. Four-star recruit according to 247Sports. Was arrested on July 24th 2020 and charged with sexual battery. Received an indefinite suspension from all team-related activities. All charges were dropped and he was allowed to play in the 2020 season. Multi-disciplinary studies major.

Pros

Versatile defender who can drop into space or line up in a four-point stance inside of the tackle. Williams has very good burst, converting it into power to blow up off-balance tackles. He possesses above-average length, long arming tackles into the passers’ face with his leg drive. Dips the shoulder to make tackles work low. A strong upper body allows him to extend and press blockers out of his frame. His hands are heavy, impacting opponents on contact. Williams stands high blockers up off the snap. Fluid mover in space.

Cons

An inconsistently timed and occasionally slow first step costs him his speed threat on every play, losing valuable ground because of it. Stiff ankles prevent him from turning the corner at the top of the rush. Fails to swipe the punch of tackles as his hands are slow. Williams needs to set a stronger edge, not relying on his athleticism and range to make a play. Does not play urgently when he has pulling blockers coming at him. Lacks any zone instincts in coverage.

Summary

Gifted athlete with power and length. Williams can drop into coverage or line up as a defensive end. He can convert speed to power and consistently extends in the run game. Slow hands make him a one-dimensional rusher. Williams projects as a rotational defensive end who has inside-out flexibility. He can defend the run and power rush the passer at an NFL level. His versatility makes him scheme-proof. A lack of flexibility and slow hands put a ceiling on his potential.

Grades

7.2 (current value/7.8 potential value)

BamaCentral Analysis 

Williams is tall, powerful and has a great motor, but he gives up a lot of weight to big offensive linemen. Last season he played in 10 games, with six starts, and notched 40 tackles including a team-leading eight for a loss and four sacks. One came against Alabama. There's no doubt the Ole Miss defense has improved this season, the question is how much? The Rebels are 59th nationally in total defense at 341 yards per game, after finishing next to last in 2020 by giving up an average of 519 yards. Ole Miss plays a lot of press on the back end, which can be exploited if the quarterback has time. Consequently, Williams may be the key against the Crimson Tide as he's the Rebels' best pass-rusher. 

BamaCentral will profile two different Ole Miss players each day this week the Crimson Tide prepares to host the Rebels at Bryant-Denny Stadium on Saturday. Also check out NFL Draft Bible for more evaluations.

Matt Corral 

Here's the quote about Sam Williams you may have seen in Lindy's Sports preseason college football annual, which was from an anonymous coach: 

"Their defensive end Sam Williams, that SOB is a legit first-round NFL draft choice. The guy is freak show. He could be one to watch in the SEC. He is a phenomenal talent. He's a powerful guy and he knocks people on their asses. But he will take plays off and go to lunch. If he played every down, he could play on Alabama's defense, and Ole Miss doesn't have a lot of those."

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