Leonard Williams needs to live upto his new contract
WIth the New York Giants handing defensive lineman Leonard Williams a massive new contract this offseason, he needs to prove that last season wasn’t a fluke.
Jeremy Fowler of ESPN put together a list of the top defensive lineman in the NFL according to executives, coaches and players. Williams is listed at number seven. Here’s what people are saying about him:
7. Leonard Williams, New York Giants
Highest ranking: 4 | Lowest ranking: Unranked
Age: 27 | Last year’s ranking: N/A
The most polarizing player on the list, Williams was labeled an underachiever before his 11.5-sack breakout in 2020 prompted a massive contract extension with the Giants.
“He doesn’t know what he can be yet,” said a Pro Bowl defensive player.
Added an NFC scout: “That combination of size and athleticism is just rare.”
The positional flexibility is a challenge for defenses. Williams can line up inside, or become the Giants’ best pass-rusher off the edge. But evaluators aren’t sure whether his breakout this past season is an anomaly.
“Talented, just doesn’t put it together consistently,” the NFC scout said.
One veteran NFL defensive coach said he “wasn’t sure what he was looking at’ when he evaluated Williams’ tape during the player’s tenure with the Jets.
“Last year was not shocking based on ability, and my guess is he’ll have a similar year [in 2021],” the coach said. “But it’s hard to tell with him.”
Here’s how the entire top-10 looks.
- Aaron Donald, Rams
- Chris Jones, Chiefs
- DeForest Buckner, Colts
- Cam Heyward, Steelers
- Fletcher Cox, Eagles
- Jeffery Simmons, Titans
- Leonard Williams, Giants
- Stephon Tuitt, Steelers
- Vita Vea, Buccaneers
- Grady Jarrett, Falcons
I think Williams is in a fair spot right now on this list. He needs to put together a string of very good to great seasons if he wants to be make the top-five. I could even see him being as low as 10. You have to remember he’s only had one great season so far in the NFL.
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