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Coming from a great defense at Florida State loaded with NFL prospects, Vince Williams seemed to be lost in the shuffle heading into the draft.
Thanks to the platform of the Senior Bowl, the former Seminole was able to showcase his abilities for the NFL on a grand stage.
The middle linebacker jumped off the screen with huge hits on ball-carriers when he was inserted into the lineup. He showed impressive range and finished plays with outstanding form-tackling.
The performance Williams put together in the Senior Bowl likely has NFL evaluators going back to reassess their grades. In an underwhelming group of linebackers in Mobile, the inside 'backer stood out as much as any.
As Mark Inabinett wrote for AL.com, the former Seminole also made plays in practice.
He intercepted a pass during the 11-on-11 work. Arkansas quarterback Tyler Wilson tried to drill a short throw to Tennessee tight end Mychal Rivera, but the collision of Rivera and a defender popped the ball into the air, where Williams grabbed it and took off.
Earlier in an 11-on-11 situation, Williams stopped a draw by Stanford running back Stepfan Taylor cold in the backfield.
His head coach during the week, Detroit Lions head coach Jim Schwartz, spoke about the 'backer:
"You're starting to see his personality a little bit," said Detroit Lions coach Jim Schwartz, who's leading the South this week. "Anytime you're a linebacker and you're wearing No. 1, there's probably a little bit of swagger associated with that.
"But he backed it up today. Guys have rallied around him a little bit, and he showed not just his athletic ability on the field, but also some leadership."
Houston's need at middle linebacker has to be addressed through the draft. Williams could be a cheaper solution in the middle rounds compared to some of the bigger names who'll go in the top two rounds.
If Williams goes into an NFL camp and competes at the same level he did at the Senior Bowl, he could easily find himself an instant starter in the NFL.