2015 NFL Draft Profile: Leonard Williams, DT USC


There isn’t a more talked about defensive player in the 2015 NFL Draft than USC defensive tackle Leonard Williams.  In fact, nearly every mock draft that I look at sees Leonard Williams as the first defender selected at the event.  But that doesn’t mean that he is a surefire prospect.

Players don’t get much more physically gifted than Williams.  He’s got the height, size, power and athleticism that could help him become an elite level player in the NFL.  But those natural gifts sometimes lead to lapses in technique and play recognition.  Those are things that are very coachable, so teams with a good staff on hand could help make him a complete force.

The player comparisons for Leonard Williams have been pretty generous, with CBS Sports seeing some Gerald McCoy in him and NFL.com relating him to former Vikings defensive tackle Kevin Williams.  But, as always, each and every player is different and will forge their own career in the National Football League.

Nov 29, 2014; Los Angeles, CA, USA; Southern California Trojans defensive end Leonard Williams (94) celebrates against the Notre Dame Fighting Irish at Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum. Mandatory Credit: Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports

Combine Measurables:

  • Height: 6’5″
  • Weight: 302 pounds
  • Arm Length: 34.625″
  • Hand Size: 10.625″
  • 40 Yard Dash: 4.97 seconds
  • Vertical Jump: 29.5″
  • Broad Jump: 106″
  • 3 Cone Drill: 7.59 seconds
  • 20 Yard Shuttle: 4.53 seconds

Draft Projection

CBS Sports currently has Leonard Williams ranked as their #1 overall prospect and the #1 defensive tackle.  He is essentially guaranteed to be a first round selection in the 2015 NFL Draft.

Fit For The Vikings

The Vikings have addressed their needs in the middle of the defensive line by drafting Sharrif Floyd and bringing in free agent Linval Joseph last offseason.  With the excellent season that Floyd had in 2014, it would be hard to justify using a first round pick on competition for him.

My Take

Let’s be honest, Leonard Williams will be long gone by the time the Minnesota Vikings select at #11.  Unless something insane happens, the Vikings would have to trade up if they want Williams, and that is just something that doesn’t make sense for a team with so many other needs to address this year.

Next: Top 10 Biggest Vikings Salaries For 2015

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