Ranking the Packers (No. 52): Tim Williams
GREEN BAY, Wis. – In a tradition that stretches more than a decade, here is our annual ranking of the 90 players on the Green Bay Packers’ roster. This isn’t merely a look at the best players. Rather, it’s a formula that combines talent, salary, importance of the position, depth at the position and, for young players, draft positioning. More than the ranking, we hope you learn a little something about every player on the roster.
No. 52: OLB Tim Williams (6-3, 244, fourth year, Alabama)
Za’Darius Smith’s career flourished upon leaving Baltimore for Green Bay.
Could the same hold true for Williams?
Williams was a third-round pick by the Ravens in 2017. He was released early last season and claimed on waivers by Green Bay on Oct. 3 He played in only one game and was released a month later, and finished the season on the practice squad.
“I can tell you this: He’s legit,” Smith said upon Williams joining the team. “I don’t know the situation from leaving Baltimore but I can tell you this: Now that we have him, he’s a guy that’s going to scare a lot of quarterbacks around this league.”
He hasn’t scared any quarterbacks thus far. In 20 career games, he has only two sacks. However, during his final two seasons at Alabama, he had 19.5 sacks and 28.5 tackles for losses as mostly a pass-rush specialist. He had one quarterback hit in last year’s preseason game against Green Bay.
“We’re excited about Tim Williams. We were able to get him Baltimore that had some pass-rush production in his history and did some good things for us down the stretch on the practice field,” defensive coordinator Mike Pettine said during an offseason Zoom call.
Most third-round picks get the benefit of the doubt and survive all four years on a roster. Williams didn’t even make it halfway through his third season. Does he have something to prove?
“That’s the only person I have to prove that to because I’m my own worst enemy,” he said. “I feel like any person, wherever you are in life, you should be able to conquer your reflection before you conquer anything else.”
Why he’s got a chance: There’s a hole at outside linebacker with Kyler Fackrell’s free-agent departure to the Giants. Williams will battle seventh-round pick Jonathan Garvin and a fleet of undrafted free agents for the No. 4 role behind the Smith Bros. and Rashan Gary. Having experience in Pettine’s scheme and time with position coach Mike Smith should give him at least an early advantage.
“I just know that not too many guys can do what I do,” he said at the 2017 Scouting Combine, where he ran a 4.68 in the 40. “I can get down in three-point stance and rush the passer. I can stand up in the two-point stance and be able to do the same. I have a lot of moves as a pass rusher. I’m not a bull-rush guy. I’m not a finesse guy. Some tackles don’t know what I’m going to do when I get up there. I can drop. I’m an all-around competitor. It doesn’t matter how many plays you give me. You can give me two plays, three plays. I’m not going to pout about it. I’m still going to go out there and perform because the game of football is bigger than me. The organization is bigger than me and we’re all out there trying to win the game.”