Brandon Williams   DT   Missouri Southern

TALENT BOARD ROUND  2

 

STRENGTHS

Brandon has the size, quickness, strength and long arms that you look for in a defensive tackle for the next level. He has good foot speed and better than average change of direction skills. He can play more than one position on the line of scrimmage for you and can impact in multiple fronts. Because of his quickness off the snap, he is very difficult for most offensive linemen to handle one-on-one. Make a mistake on this kid when blocking him and he will eat up ground quickly then pounce on your quarterback no matter how athletic that quarterback might be. Brandon has the feet and lateral agility to play on the nose or on the edge in a 3-4 defense. He can also play either defensive tackle position in a 4-3 defense. He has the ability to fall off the line and the length (long arms) to knock down passes. He has an excellent burst to the play and will turn and run down players from behind which, at his weight, is very impressive. Brandon definitely has the athletic talent and football intelligence to play at a very high level for the team that drafts him, as long as he plays with the passion and technique he showed at the Senior Bowl.

 

CONCERNS

Brandon loses his balance and is on the ground because his lower body strength does not currently match his upper body strength. During the season he played with poor technique and when he got double-teamed, he was on the ground more than he should be because of this lack of lower body strength. In the Senior Bowl, Brandon paid a lot of attention to the running game and was outstanding using his long arms to keep offensive linemen off him so that he could shed and make a tackle in the hole or tackle the QB when he steps up in the pocket.  In the Senior Bowl, he got off the snap much quicker and with more consistency and passion than he did during the season. Brandon will also need to control his weight.

 

BOTTOM LINE

There was contradiction in Brandon's play during the season and his play in the Senior Bowl. It’s wasn’t enough to raise the red flag too high, but it does make you wonder. I think what surprised me the most in his play at the Senior Bowl was his improved technique. It was shocking how mature and developed they were from the film I have seen him play in during the season. The difference in his hand usage and how much less he was on the ground after making a move was dramatic. It also surprised me on how much better he seemed to be playing the run and controlling anyone leaving the pocket once it was established. Brandon's excellent athleticism did not surprise me at all. His ability to get off blocks was significantly different than it was during the season and although he plays with passion during the season, he ratcheted that up significantly during Senior Bowl week. Am I suggesting that Brandon took downs off (effort-wise) during the college season? Absolutely not -- he made plays all over the place and did a good job. What I'm suggesting is that he seems to lack the intensity that he had during Senior Bowl week. All of a sudden, in one week’s time, Brandon learned better hand usage, pass rushing and run stuffing techniques. During the season there were games in which Brandon got handled and, at that level with all of his athletic talent, I knew that teaching him better techniques would make him a player that any team would be interested in selecting in the 3rd, 4th or 5th rounds of the draft. The surprise was that in the Senior Bowl, Brandon showed top ten talent because of these new found mature techniques. I can tell you for a fact that he did not show top ten talent in the film I have of him during the season. Nevertheless, I think after showing how mature his techniques are along with his athletic ability, teams would be foolish not to draft Brandon at some point in the 2nd or 3rd round of this draft. That seems logical to me, but I suspect that Brandon might not be consistent until the third year of his contract. I think that I could get a better feel for Brandon if I could interview him. I would put the tape on of his college season and then show him the tape of the Senior Bowl and ask him just one question, “Why is there such marked improvement from the season to the Senior Bowl?” Sometimes you have to take a chance on a player and as long as a team is not thinking of drafting Brandon in the first round and making him a focal point of their defense, I believe drafting him in the second or third round makes good sense and is smart drafting. There is no reason why Brandon can't be as good as Vince Wilfork; he has that type of talent.

 

Drew "The B.S. Detector" Boylhart

Apr/2013