Posts Tagged ‘Leonard Williams’

Joe Marino’s Talent Watch Week 3: USC’s Leonard Williams Emerging As One of Nation’s Best 2015 NFL Draft Prospects

Thursday, September 11th, 2014
Leonard Williams' standout performance through injury against Stanford last week proved that he's a star prospect. (Photo: Cary Edmondson — USA Today Sports)

Leonard Williams’ standout performance through injury against Stanford last week proved that he’s a star prospect. (Photo: Cary Edmondson — USA Today Sports)

BBD Assistant Editor: Joe Marino

By Saturday morning, every team in college football will have taken the field. The season is in full swing. Oregon and USC secured big early-season victories this past weekend over Michigan State and Stanford, but most teams have yet to face a formidable conference opponent.

Even though Week 3 doesn’t offer the marquee matchups of previous weeks, every game counts and NFL scouts are always watching. This is a week highly ranked teams need to guard against a letdown loss.

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2015 NFL Draft Prospect to Watch: Leonard Williams, DL, Southern California

Wednesday, August 20th, 2014
USC junior defensive lineman Leonard Williams could be a top prospect in the 2015 NFL Draft. (Photo: Kirby Lee — USA Today Sports)

USC junior defensive lineman Leonard Williams could be a top prospect in the 2015 NFL Draft. (Photo: Kirby Lee — USA Today Sports)

BBD Contributor: Brian Krosky

Versatility is the name of the game in the NFL. Most players are now asked to do more than one job, and the ability to contribute in multiple capacities sets great players away from good players. This is especially true for defensive linemen, where the best players need to be able to rush the passer and stuff the run, play in both 4-3 and 3-4 schemes and adjust their talents to multiple roles. Leonard Williams, a 2013 third-team AP All-American from USC, has no shortage of versatility.

As a freshman in 2012, Williams played 3-technique defensive tackle on a defense coached by Monte Kiffin, who is now a member of the Dallas Cowboys coaching staff. The Pac-12 defensive freshman of the year, he totaled 64 tackles, including 13.5 for loss (8 sacks), while he also had four deflections, two fumble recoveries and an interception.

Last season, Williams occupied the 5-technique defensive end position under new USC defensive coordinator Clancy Pendergast. He started 13 games and had 74 tackles, including 13.5 for loss (6 sacks), with two forced fumbles and a fumble recovery. He suffered a shoulder injury against Oregon State on Nov. 1, and struggled with the recovery the rest of the year.

USC’s defensive scheme is changing yet again this year and Williams is set to play defensive end in the Trojans’ 3-4 alignment. He has two years of remaining eligiblity for USC, but should be a top prospect for the 2015 draft if he declares.

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