Tourek Williams to Chargers: How Does the OLB Fit with San Diego?

Nick KostoraContributor IIIApril 27, 2013

Nov 24 2012; Miami, FL, USA;  Florida International Golden Panthers defensive end Tourek Williams (97) before a game against the Louisiana Monroe Warhawks at FIU Stadium.  Mandatory Credit: Robert Mayer-USA TODAY Sports
Robert Mayer-USA TODAY Sports

Another area of need and another player drafted that addresses that concern for the San Diego Chargers. Tourek Williams is a pure pass-rushing outside linebacker who adds another dimension to the Chargers defense and makes GM Tom Telesco look that much smarter in his first effort of drafting.

San Diego has now made five picks in the draft, and each player should have a role to play once the 2013 season gets started. Williams comes to San Diego via Florida International and has a solid 6'3", 260-pound frame.


He is an interesting fit for the Chargers because his projections indicated that he may actually fit better in the NFL as a 4-3 defensive end, but he knows how to set the edge and get to the quarterback. That is a trait that will serve him well on a San Diego team that needs to find ways to get in the backfield.

The Chargers' defensive unit is changing quickly. Gone are guys like Shaun Phillips, Antoine Cason, Quentin Jammer, Aubrayo Franklin and Antonio Garay. In their place, we are seeing younger players in Tourek Williams, cornerback Steve Williams, linebacker Manti Te'o and second-year linebacker Melvin Ingram.

T. Williams registered 46 tackles in his senior season with the FIU Panthers, 14.5 of them were for a loss. He also had 6.5 sacks and two forced fumbles. He is a difference-maker who uses his burst and speed to get around offensive tackles and quickly get to the quarterback.

Ingram is developing nicely, but Jarret Johnson and Jonas Mouton leave a lot to be desired at outside linebacker as it stands, so it makes sense for San Diego to look to add someone with a more focused mission of recording sacks.

The problem with Williams is that he is not a complete player, and that will restrict him from being an every-down player at the next level, at least initially. Williams struggles to get off blocks and can get lost against the run. He gets overwhelmed when locked up with offensive linemen and relies almost solely on his speed to get around them.

Here is what Bleacher Report's Dan Tylicki had to say about Williams in his scouting report:

In the NFL, Williams is best as a 4-3 defensive end. Because of his ability to pass rush and his versatility, however, he could be used as a situational 3-4 outside linebacker as well. Personally, I think he would be best as a hybrid player, playing mainly at DE while gradually working in some LB experience as well.

In either case, he would only be situational for now, since he will need some adjusting to the NFL. Williams is also athletic enough that he could play on special teams if needed as one of the bigger guys up front making tackles.


San Diego is going to have to coach him up to be more physical and learn how to use his hands to supplement his speed. Johnson is currently a one-dimensional pass-rusher with few other unique skills to speak of.

Again, that pass-rushing ability will ensure that Williams has a role in San Diego's defense, but if the Chargers are hoping for a balanced player out of him, then he will need to develop the rest of his game.

Dropping into coverage, dissecting adjustments at the line of scrimmage and bringing down running backs before they get to the second level are skills that will only come with time and development for Williams.

However, you are not expecting a complete player in the sixth round of the NFL draft. Players that go in this range are going to have serious flaws and deficiencies to their game. The good news for Williams is that his problems can all be fixed and addressed. He has a good motor that will serve him well during this transitional phase of San Diego's defense.