Seattle Seahawks' Leonard Williams: Most Overrated Defensive End?

The Seattle Seahawks are hoping Leonard Williams becomes one of the best players at his position in the NFL.
Nov 12, 2023; Seattle, Washington, USA; Seattle Seahawks defensive end Leonard Williams (99) sacks Washington Commanders quarterback Sam Howell (14) during the second quarter at Lumen Field. Mandatory Credit: Joe Nicholson-USA TODAY Sports
Nov 12, 2023; Seattle, Washington, USA; Seattle Seahawks defensive end Leonard Williams (99) sacks Washington Commanders quarterback Sam Howell (14) during the second quarter at Lumen Field. Mandatory Credit: Joe Nicholson-USA TODAY Sports / Joe Nicholson-USA TODAY Sports
In this story:

The Seattle Seahawks made a bold move in the middle of last season, trading for Leonard Williams from the New York Giants. As he enters his first full season with the Seahawks with a new three-year contract in hand, the veteran defensive tackle has something to prove.

In their annual preseason article, Bleacher Report listed Williams as the most overrated defensive lineman in the NFL.

Dec 10, 2023; Santa Clara, California, USA; Seattle Seahawks defensive end Leonard Williams (99) before the game against the San Francisco 49ers at Levi's Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Darren Yamashita-USA TODAY Sports
Dec 10, 2023; Santa Clara, California, USA; Seattle Seahawks defensive end Leonard Williams (99) before the game against the San Francisco 49ers at Levi's Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Darren Yamashita-USA TODAY Sports / Darren Yamashita-USA TODAY Sports

"After an ugly start to the 2023 campaign, the Giants traded the defensive lineman to the Seahawks. Williams did pick up the pace after the trade," Bleacher Report writes. "He finished his 10-game tryout in Seattle with nine tackles for a loss, four sacks, 15 pressures, seven QB knockdowns and four hurries. It remains to be seen whether Williams will sustain that pace moving forward, but it doesn't seem like a safe bet given his inconsistency in the past. The Seahawks paying him like a top-15 defensive line talent will only compound the issue."

Williams was a bright spot in the Seahawks defense last season, which ranked as one of the worst in the league. But now with new head coach Mike Macdonald, the defense projects to be better. With the Baltimore Ravens, Macdonald coordinated the defense to lead the league in sacks in 2023. If the Seahawks are going to reach that goal this year, Williams will be a huge part of the blueprint.

The Seahawks need Williams to play well because he is one of the highest-paid players on the team. With just two years left on his deal, the Seahawks will have the chance to part ways with him after the 2024 campaign if he underperforms.

But Williams and the Seahawks hope he can play to the level he is paid at, performing as one of the best defensive ends in the league to silence critics.


Published
Jeremy Brener

JEREMY BRENER

Jeremy Brener is an editor, writer and social media manager for several Fan Nation websites. His work has also been featured in 247 Sports and SB Nation as a writer and podcaster. Brener has been with Fan Nation since 2021. Brener grew up in Houston, going to Astros, Rockets and Texans games as a kid. He moved to Orlando in 2016 to go to college and pursue a degree. He hosts "The Dream Take" podcast covering the Rockets, which has produced over 350 episodes since March 2020. Brener graduated in May 2020 from the University of Central Florida with a Bachelor's degree in Broadcast Journalism minoring in Sport Business Management. While at UCF, Brener worked for the school's newspaper NSM.today and "Hitting the Field," a student-run sports talk show and network. He was the executive producer for "Hitting the Field" from 2019-20. During his professional career, Brener has covered a number of major sporting events including the Pro Bowl, March Madness and several NBA and NFL games. As a fan, Brener has been to the 2005 World Series, 2010 FIFA World Cup and the 2016 NCAA National Championship between the Villanova Wildcats and North Carolina Tar Heels. Now, Brener still resides in the Central Florida area and enjoys writing, watching TV, hanging out with friends and going to the gym. Brener can be followed on Twitter @JeremyBrener. For more inquiries, please email jeremybrenerchs@gmail.com.