Meshak Williams Scouting Report: NFL Outlook for Kansas State OLB

Garrett BakerSenior Analyst IApril 19, 2013

Overshadowed on Kansas State's defense by Arthur Brown, Meshak Williams should hear his name called on the third day of the NFL draft and could end up surprising some people. 

He played defensive end in college but will most likely transition to a 3-4 OLB in the NFL. Can the former community college transfer make the leap to being productive in the NFL?

Strengths Weaknesses

+ Athletic, quick first step forwards

+ Relentless attack, plays til the whistle

+ Good height and length

+ Incredibly productive senior season

- Doesn't backpedal or move laterally well

- Gets lost in coverage

- Needs to add on some bulk

- One-dimensional pass-rusher

 

Measurables

At Kansas State's pro day, Williams clocked in at about 6'2", 247 pounds, making him a little bit undersized but not so small that it will keep him off of a team's radars. He only put up 14 reps on the bench press, though, which makes his strength a concern.

His 40-yard dash was an incredibly slow 5.04, although he pulled his hamstring on the first run. He broad jumped an unimpressive 9'7", so there definitely leaves some room to be desired there too, although there's still the question with his hamstring.

 

Intangibles

Williams accepted a scholarship to play at Kansas State out of high school but was academically ineligible and had to play at Hutchinson Community College for two years.

He plays extremely hard and is well-liked, so other than the academic issues there don't seem to be any red flags in terms of character.

 

Scheme

Williams played as a 4-3 defensive end at KSU, so he played mostly on the outside shoulder of the offensive tackle with his hand on the ground, although he did move around a little bit.

 

Pass Rush

This is really the part of Williams' game that will translate to the next level. He gets a great first step off the line and keeps the tackle off-balance. He uses his hands pretty well and is violent in his pursuit of the quarterback.

He had 8.5 sacks and forced three fumbles last season, second best in the conference. He is athletic and flexible around the edge but can also cut and go back inside. It remains to be seen how he'll be when rushing exclusively from a 3-4 OLB position.

 

Against the Run

Williams is really not very strong against the run. He gets overpowered too easily and gets out of position. He does not have great technique when wrapping up and can get broken by stronger backs. 

 

Versatility

Although he's reasonably athletic, Williams will not be particularly versatile in the NFL. He doesn't have the size or strength to play as a true 4-3 defensive end and can't play linebacker in a 4-3 either because of his inability to cover. 

 

Potential NFL Role

Teams will probably only look to use Williams in a situational role as a pass-rusher. He'll fit as a 3-4 OLB who will get used on passing downs only.

 

NFL Draft Projection

Seventh round.

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