Wednesday, March 6, 2013

Prospect Profile: DT/NT Brandon Williams - MSSU

Name:  Brandon Williams
Height:  6' - 1"
Weight:  335 lbs.
Class:  RSr.
Hometown:  Kirkwood, MO
High Schools:  Rockwood Summit HS & Harmony Prep (Cincinnati, OH)
Date of Birth:  2/21/89 (24 years old)

MSSU Lions Career:

2012 (RSr. Season):  Named All-American by four different selection committees (Coaches, AP, Beyond Sports Network and Daktronics).  MIAA Defensive Player of the Year.  Named Daktronics Regional POTY as well as Beyond Sports Network DPOTY.   Finished his career recording his 27th career sack, the most in Missouri Southern State history.  Tallied 68 total tackles on the season, 31 solo, 37 assisted, including 16.5 TFLs and 8.5 sacks.  Added 2 PBUs, 8 QBHs, 5 FFs and 1 safety.

2011 (RJr. Season):  Played in 9 of 10 games for the Lions.  Unanimous All-MIAA selection while also being named All-Region and All-American.  Lived in opposing teams' backfields with 16 TFLs including 8.0 sacks.  Finished with 35 total tackles, 19 solo and 16 assisted.  Added 5.0 PBUs and 3 QBHs.

2010 (RSo. Season):  Had an explosive, breakout season with 50 total tackles including 17.0 TFLs and 9.0 sacks.  Added 3.0 PBUs, 6 QBHs and 1 Forced Fumble.

2009 (So. Season):  Sat out with medical redshirt.

2008 (Fr. Season):  Tallied 38 total tackles in his freshman season, 14 solo and 24 assisted.  Had 3.0 TFLs and 1.5 sacks, added 4 PBUs and 1 QBH.

2012 Highlights (#66 - RSr. Season):

Strengths (+):
+  Massive in the upper body, thick and broad
+  Strong, heavy hands
+  Consistently shows strength and leverage to shove blockers into the backfield
+  Does well to keep blockers off his inside pads
+  Played versatile DL role for MSSU, lining up from 0 to 5 technique
+  Very active down the line of scrimmage for a big man, shows relatively quick feet
+  Closes pretty well, does well in small spaces to get to ballcarriers
+  Tips passes and disrupts passing lanes consistently
+  Consistently dominated at the DII level of play, nearly unblockable
+  Demands double teams frequently
+  Great effort, always in pursuit, pretty good stamina
+  Strong showing at Senior Bowl Week, played up to the competition well
+  Flashes a nice spin move when he sets it up properly
+  By all accounts a devilishly hard worker, who has molded himself into a NFL level talent

Weaknesses (-):
-  Not overly stout of haunch, can get pushed around at times vs. the power running game
-  Is not superior in terms of athletic talent, lacks some quick twitch abilities seen in top NFL pass rushers on the inside
-  Needs more urgency and consistency in fighting off blocks
-  Gets caught in his typical bull rush a little to often, needs to develop moves and get a little more crafty
-  Will not chase down many ball carriers, lacks any decent straight line speed
-  Missed 2009 season due to injury, 5 years in DII ball, now 24 years old

NFL Draft Analysis:
Mr. Williams did himself nothing but favors after the week of work he put in at the Senior Bowl.  He showed more than enough to hang with the big boys of the NCAA, especially considering the strength of the Offensive Line in the 2013 NFL Draft.  As a small school prospect you want to see total domination at the level of competition by any potential DII prospect.  Williams wreaked havoc on opposing offenses during his time in Joplin, a city which has been devastated by tornado activity in recent years.  His obvious plug and play in the NFL position will be manning the nose in a 3-4 package, but he has enough athleticism to get by in a 4-3 inside.  He carries so much mass and power for a 6' - 1" frame that he shapes up as the ideal nose guard candidate in late Day 2 consideration.

Outlook as a Raider:
Certainly, if the Raiders are looking for more 3-4 looks then they need to find some consistency at the nose tackle position.  Williams is a likely target in the high 3rd Round for Oakland if they are looking for more 3-4 sets.  Kelly, Seymour and possibly Desmond Bryant could all be gone by the start of training camp, so adding depth along the Defensive Line is critical for Oakland this off-season.  While Williams is a small school prospect, Oakland is no stranger to grabbing talent from the DII/FCS ranks.  Some cases in point would be current Top 10 Left Tackle Jared Veldheer who came from Hillsdale College.  OG Kevin Boothe who started every game for the Giants last season was originally drafted by Oakland out of Cornell back in 2006.  DT Grady Jackson out of Knoxville (1997 Draft), OL Gene Upshaw from Texas A&I (1967), Art Shell from Maryland State (1968), Southern Mississippi's Ray Guy (1973), Villanova's Howie Long (1981)...yes, long list.  Adding a hard nosed, no-nonsense kid like Williams would help bolster what is already a strong, young group of defensive linemen in Houston, Bilukidi, Crawford and Shaughnessy who will continue to grow together as a unit.

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