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There are hundreds of stories being told during the planning and anticipation of the 2017 NFL Draft. Today we will be looking at a scouting report for senior outside linebacker Tim Williams, Alabama Crimson Tide.

OLB-Tim Williams, Alabama 6’4” 252 lbs.

The Alabama defense over the past few years has produced some good NFL defenders: Baltimore’s C.J. Mosley, Green Bay’s Ha Ha Clinton-Dix, LA Ram’s Mark Barron, and the Giant’s Landon Collins. Can Tim Williams overcome some off field issues to include himself in that list of defensive stalwarts? Since I’m a high school football coach and educator by trade, let’s break down what I saw in the seven games I reviewed of the senior backer: 2016 contests versus Auburn, Washington, Clemson, USC, LSU, Arkansas, and Ole Miss. Most of these game videos are available via draftbreakdown.com. Here are my thoughts:

Cons: His off field issues are significant, with a September 2016 arrest for an unregistered firearm and possession of marijuana that supposedly didn’t belong to him and a substance abuse problem on top? There are several reports that state the former Crimson Tide player has multiple failed drug tests and that he was held out of half a game in response by the Alabama coaching staff. Williams may enter the NFL with strikes against him like Cowboys defender Randy Gregory (who got suspended for the third time in two years). On top of his personal issues, the outside backer rarely dropped back into coverage, so will he be able to do anything other than rush the passer in a 3-4 front? He also is very focused on the pigskin which causes him to be fooled by misdirection as this allows the backer to get taken out of the play.

Pros: Williams overhangs well over the tackle or tight end and has a quick first step that allows him to get past or into the body of the person assigned to block him. He uses his powerful hands and outstretched arms to keep the offensive away from his core and guides them back into the ball carrier or to close the quarterback’s pocket. The former Alabama defender lines up in either a two or three-point stance and lines up on either side of the formation. The backer is explosive and quick, finding the pigskin by taking whatever path is closest.  Williams uses a combination of spins, swims, and rips to disengage from whomever is trying to get in his way. He has good flexibility and balance to get around less athletic blockers. Against Arkansas, he showed off his athleticism by scooping and scoring on a fumble in the backfield. The outside backer is a punishing tackler who takes good angles in the open field.

Overall impressions: Williams is a good pass rusher, but will need to overcome his demons and prove to NFL teams that he isn’t a one-trick pony pass rusher. 3-4 outside linebackers need to be able to cover offensive skill players at times, and that is an unknown right now with Williams. His teammate Ryan Anderson is less athletic, but a more consistent player that I would rather have on my fantasy team. I have Williams just inside my top ten rookie linebackers.

Thanks for reading. I will continue to discuss my scouting reports with you throughout the next several months, so keep checking the site for more content. Please check out my other content as well. You can also follow me on Twitter @AndrewMiley.

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