PFF Mock Draft Has Colts Still Selecting Alabama’s Tim Williams
According to Pro Football Focus’ latest Mock Draft 5.0, the Indianapolis Colts are still projected to select Alabama pass rusher Tim Williams with the 15th overall pick of the 2017 NFL Draft.
The 6’3″, 244 pound outside linebacker is highly regarded as one of the best pass rushers in this year’s draft class:
"15. Indianapolis ColtsTim Williams, Edge, AlabamaEven with the additions of John Simon and Jabaal Sheard in free agency, there’s still room for pass-rushers, especially a player like Williams who can make an immediate impact as a situational rusher. He’s only played 168 snaps against the run the last three years, and he may be limited there early on in the NFL, but he did his damage as a pass-rusher where he put pressure on the quarterback on 26.1 percent of his rushes (NCAA average is 10 percent)."
Despite posting ‘so-so’ NFL Combine measurables including a 4.68 forty yard dash, Williams flashed his pass rushing prowess on the field–featuring a nice array of pure pass rushing moves:
The former Crimson Tide standout is coming off a season in which he recorded 9.0 sacks, 31 tackles, 16.0 tackles for loss, and 2 forced fumbles in 14 games. As a result of his exceptional play in 2016, Williams earned 2nd-Team All-America and SEC honors respectively.
In his 4-year collegiate career, Williams finished with 20.0 sacks, 57 tackles, 30.0 tackles for loss, 2 forced fumbles in 34 games.
He’s currently ranked as NFL Network Draft Guru Mike Mayock‘s “2nd best edge rusher“, and here is his NFL.com Draft Profile:
"Dec 31, 2015; Arlington, TX, USA; Michigan State Spartans quarterback Connor Cook (18) is pressured by Alabama Crimson Tide linebacker Tim Williams (56) in the third quarter in the 2015 CFP semifinal at the Cotton Bowl at AT&T Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Matthew Emmons-USA TODAY SportsNFL Comparison: Leonard FloydBottom Line: Alabama has the type of talent and scheme on defense that can make life easier for everyone along the front seven, but Williams has explosiveness and pass-rush talent to create his own havoc as a pass rusher regardless of what is around him. Scouts say he is lighter than his listed weight and needs to prove he can play with increased toughness in order to reach his potential. Williams’ career might be as a pass rusher specialist, but he’s talented enough at that endeavor to become a dangerous rush linebacker in the NFL."
Despite his explosiveness and pass rush ability off the edge, it’s worth noting that Williams does come with his own fair share of character concerns, as he was arrested last fall on a gun charge and has acknowledged failed drug tests in the past.
Even after signing outside linebackers Jabaal Sheard and John Simon in free agency, the Colts could still use pass rushing help, as both of these free agents aren’t necessarily ‘pure’ pass rushers–even though each can offer some pass rush ability off the edge.
Both Sheard and Simon are more well-rounded players, who can contribute against the run and pass, but the Colts are presumably still in the market for an actual ‘blue-chip’ pass rusher if there’s one readily available.
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Right now, it looks like pass rusher and cornerback are the Colts biggest needs–as the team recently released projected starting cornerback Patrick Robinson.
From that regard, Williams makes a lot of sense for the Colts, as the team could still look to dramatically improve their pass rush off the edge.