Scouting Report: Xavier Williams, DT

Could this small school DT be a good fit for the Patriots?

Could this small school DT be a good fit for the Patriots?

NEPD Staff Writer: Mike Gerken

The Patriots are off to the Super Bowl!  We, as Patriots fans, are as lucky as it gets.  Fans can go a lifetime without seeing their favorite team make a Super Bowl and we get to experience it for the 6th time in 15 years.  I’m not going to let “deflategate” get me down.  I am going to enjoy these next two weeks and hopefully top it off with the Patriots hoisting up the Lombardi Trophy for the fourth time.  Every other team besides the Patriots and Seahawks have started their off season preparations, including breaking down draft prospects.  Nepatriotsdraft.com has to do the same thing, so today, I continue to look at Defensive Tackles.Name: Xavier Williams

School: University of Northern Iowa

Height: 6’2″

Weight: 325 Lbs.

Positives:

Williams is very athletic for a man his size and shows impressive movement skills forward and back as well as laterally.  He weighed in at 325 lbs at the Shrine Game but he holds it well and looks and plays much lighter.  His best attribute is his initial burst and quick first step.  On tape, he is consistently the first person to move at the snap of the ball.  He has the ability to get “skinny” when trying to get in between blockers and is disruptive in the passing game as well as in the run game.  He has strong and active hands, which keep opposing linemen off of him.  In the past two years he has blocked 6 kicks,which illustrates his impressive lower body strength.  In the running game, Williams anchors well with good leverage.

Negatives:

One thing I noticed in the games I watched was that Williams had a tenancy to put his head down.  This leads to him being unaware of who has the ball or where the play is going.  He seems so focused on beating the double team and getting into the backfield that opposing teams can run right by or around him.  He needs to work on play recognition and awareness. He also has a lot of penalties because he tries to anticipate the snap. Another concern is the level of competition he played at in college.  Although an FCS team, UNI has played several FBS teams over his career and he played well in those games.  Williams held up well against double teams in college but he will need to add strength to hold up in the NFL.

Overall:

Williams is intriguing and has the potential to rise up draft boards as the process continues.  He had a strong showing at the Shrine Game, both in the game and during the week of practices.  He was highly productive throughout his college career as well.  Williams needs to get into an NFL program to increase his strength and get acclimated to the speed of the game but he has starter potential down the road.  If the Patriots decide that a DT is not a high priority for this team, Williams could be a nice option later on in the draft.

 

 

4 Responses to “Scouting Report: Xavier Williams, DT”

  1. Mike Gerken says:

    I am watching a much bigger name DT as I am typing this and I have seen more on tape from Williams.

  2. Mike Gerken says:

    Thanks Russell,
    I think that late round compensatory pick is right in the area that Williams could come off the board. Like I said, if the Patriots decide to go in other directions with their earlier picks, Williams is a nice option. At the very least, he is a nice rotational lineman who has the upside to be a more prominent part of the defense after a year or two of development.

  3. Russell says:

    Has much as I would like a “Play-making WR” in the 1st round ,it is very unlikely BB would do that, so I keep adjusting my mock, to a Mid-round WR.

    1st- OT/G Jake Fisher
    2nd- DE Henry Anderson
    3d- OC/G B.J.Finney
    3d (comp.)- WR Kenny Bell
    4th(Tampa)- DT Xavier Williams
    4th- RB/HB David Johnson
    6th- OLB David Tull
    7th-LB Jeff Luc

  4. Russell says:

    Well done report Mr. Gerken! Williams is another guy I like alot , and first noitced him when watching Northern Iowa tape of RB David Johnson .(who is a great prospect as well)
    Williams had 51 tackles in 2012, 74 tackles (39 solo) in 2013, and is a prospect that (on Tape) has shown improvement every year. A smart player, with a strong football IQ wanting to get into coaching football.
    The Patriots may have (IMO) 2 spots on the Dline 53 man roster. I like DE Henry Anderson for one of those spots, and Williams would be an outstanding prospect for the other spot. I had Mocked Williams as a 4th round pick a month ago, he may move up alittle, and the Patriots could get him in the end of the 3d round. The Patriots MAY end-up with a 3d round Compensatory pick, followed by the 1st pick in the 4th round (from tampa)

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