Four of the five players listed here are from the SEC. Am I an SEC hater? No, not at all. The truth is that a high majority of the “top prospects” this year come from the SEC. It is only natural, then, that many of the “reaches” and players to stay away from will also come from that conference.
For Jesse Williams, it is not so much a disdain for the player or conference. Williams may very well become one of the better players in this draft along the defensive line. In all honesty, my evaluation of Williams has not been as intense as with any of the other players listed here.
But, one thing is certain. Many of the highly sought-after draft prospects hailing from Alabama have not become great players as expected (though I love Mark Ingram’s potential, still, he must be included on that list). Terrance Cody plays for the Ravens but hasn’t become anything special. Rolando McClain was average until off-the-field problems pretty much derailed his career.
Many of the defensive backs I have liked as prospects coming from Nick Saban’s program simply have not developed as expected. Is Saban to blame? Not in the least bit.
Pete Carroll’s Southern California prospects have had the same issues through the years. The fact of the matter is that those players tend to plateau in college. In other words, because they are so well-coached, they have reached their ceilings as players.
The point here isn’t that Williams isn’t a good prospect, but that it would be foolish for the Saints to even consider someone who likely has plateaued in terms of ceiling in the first round. If the Saints had a second-round pick, consideration given to Williams would be appropriate.