Jesse Williams: How Will Seahawks' Newest Defensive Tackle Fare in the Pros?

Ryan McCrystalFeatured ColumnistApril 27, 2013

ATLANTA, GA - DECEMBER 01: Jesse Williams #54 and defensive back Nick Perry #27 of the Alabama Crimson Tide celebrate following Alabama's 32-28 win over the Georgia Bulldogs to win the SEC Championship Game at the Georgia Dome on December 1, 2012 in Atlanta, Georgia.  (Photo by Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images)
Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images

Alabama defensive tackle Jesse Williams, once considered a potential first-round pick, finally came off the board in the fifth round, landing with the Seattle Seahawks. 


Pro Outlook

According to CBS' Jason La Canfora, Williams' stock was hurt by a knee injury that caused some teams to remove him from their draft board:

Surprised Alabama DT Jesse Williams is still on board. Some teams have him off because of his knee but other clubs not as concerned

— Jason La Canfora (@JasonLaCanfora) April 27, 2013

If he's healthy, however, Williams is a prototypical nose tackle and will be an ideal space-eater in Seattle's defense. 

Williams is also a decent pass-rusher from the interior and relies on a dominant bull rush to fight his way in to the backfield. 


Roster Outlook

The Seahawks lost Alan Branch in free agency, and Williams will likely be given the opportunity to fill his shoes. However, they already drafted Penn State defensive tackle Jordan Hill in the third round and added Tony McDaniel in free agency. 

The training camp battle between those three should interesting to watch unfold. It's tough to predict who will win the starting role, but the depth gives the Seahawks the ability to rotate all three players to keep everyone fresh. 

Due to the injury concerns, Williams may play a small percentage of plays, but the Seahawks coaching staff will put him into positions where he can excel immediately. 


Pick Analysis

Even if Seattle is concerned about Williams' knee, he is well worth the risk in the fifth round. 

There's almost no risk involved in selecting Williams at this stage of the draft, and he has the potential to develop into an elite run-stuffing nose tackle if he can stay on the field.

Grade: A+