Tuesday, February 5, 2013

Prospect Profile: DT Sylvester Williams - North Carolina

Name:  Sylvester Williams
Height:  6' - 3"
Weight:  313 lbs.
Class:  Senior
Hometown:  Jefferson City, MO
Date of Birth:  November 21, 1988 (24 years old)
High School:  Jefferson City HS

Tarheels Career:

2012 Senior Year:  2012 All-ACC First Team Media and Coaches....started all 13 games and had 42 tackles, 13.5 tackles for losses, 6 QB hurries and 6.0 sacks.

2011 Junior Year:  Finished with 54 tackles, 7.0 tackles for losses, 2.5 sacks, 5 QB hurries, 3 pass breakups, one forced fumble and one fumble recovery.  Started all 13 games.

2009-10 Coffeyville CC: Ranked a 4 star recruit coming out of Junior College, and SI.com's 12th best JUCO talent.  Recorded 52 tackles, 12.5 TFLs, 2 sacks and 5 blocked kicks in 2010.  Only played one year of high school football prior to JUCO ball.

2012 Senior Highlights:

2011 Junior Highlights:

+ Possesses raw strength and powerful lower body
Good pass rushing moves, including a good bull rush and excellent swim move
Displays a high motor, plays with intensity
Quick and agile feet
Uses his arms and hands well to disengage and make plays
Strong enough to hold his ground versus double teams
Team leader with good work ethic
Is a quick learner with upside, having only played football for 5 years

- Isn't consistently dominant
Doesn't always use his strength advantageously
Technique can get sloppy and pad level can get high, letting OL get into his chest
Needs to work on conditioning
Can get overly-aggressive shooting gaps and being exposed to cutbacks
Still very raw as a 24 year old rookie

Player Comparison: DT Geno Atkins - Cincinnati Bengals 

NFL Draft Outlook:
Sylvester Williams is a DT prospect who's stock has been ascending since the end of the college football season.  In a deep class of Defensive Tackles, Williams very well may be the best 3 technique prospect of the bunch.  Improving every year he was at Chapel Hill, he's still a neophyte when it comes to football, only having played for 5 seasons.  Williams came off an impressive first year after transferring from Coffeyville Community College, and played even better his senior season.  He dropped some weight and it showed on field, displaying quickness and agility to go with his already brute strength.  He has a very strong work ethic and is a quick learner, both traits that are positives for NFL teams to work with.  The problem Williams has is that though he has the power and strength to run over his opponent, he falls into stretches where he tries to out-finesse the competition.  Those are only minor and correctable issues.  Williams is currently projected in the late 1st to early 2nd round.  Don't be surprised to see him leapfrog more recognizable talents at the position come draft day.

Raiders Outlook:
Williams isn't a run stuffing DT like Star Lotulelei or Johnathan Hankins, and he also didn't have as impressive of a season as Sheldon Richardson.  However, Sylvester Williams is probably the best 1 gap, 3 technique defensive tackle in this draft.  He has very impressive burst off the snap and can create a problem for the interior of an offensive line.  Currently Williams doesn't project anywhere near any of the Raiders' draft picks.  He would be a huge reach at #3 Overall and won't be around when the Raiders pick again in the 3rd Round (currently).  If the Raiders find a trade-down partner on draft day, he would be a good fit inside as a 2nd Round pick.  He has the strength to hold the point of attack inside, but it's his disruptive play and his ability to get into the opponent's backfield that are his main strengths.  Williams' work ethic and drive to be a better player would be a welcomed addition to this roster.

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