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Why many ‘way too early’ NFL mock drafts are high on one Sacramento-area product

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  • Why many ‘way too early’ NFL mock drafts are high on one Sacramento-area product

    Why many ‘way too early’ NFL mock drafts are high on one Sacramento-area product
    June 03, 2018 12:59 PM
    Updated June 03, 2018 12:59 PM

    The Sacramento area has sent at least five players to the NFL this offseason.

    Roseville High product Kolton Miller and Sheldon High graduate Taron Johnson were drafted in April, and three players signed following the annual seven-round event: Pleasant Grove's Wyatt Demps, Grant's Trayvon Henderson and Oak Ridge's Ross Dwelley.

    But what about 2019? The speculation is already under way.

    Several publications have already put out their "way too early" mock drafts, and one area product is receiving a lot of love.

    Alabama tackle Jonah Williams is widely regarded as one of the best offensive linemen in the nation. The Folsom High School graduate was an All-Southeastern Conference and second-team All-America selection last season as a sophomore for the national champion Crimson Tide.

    Of the eight sites sampled here, Williams is a first-rounder in all of them. Another regional product, USC linebacker Cameron Smith, makes the Day 1 list in on two mocks.

    The 2019 NFL draft kicks off April 25 in Nashville, Tenn. Here's what analysts had to say about Williams and Smith:

    ESPN (Insider)
    Updated May 3

    Todd McShay has Williams going seventh to the Denver Broncos. He wrote that the draft order was "generated by Football Outsiders, using its early projected records for the 2018 season."

    "A 2017 first-team All-SEC selection, Williams is another talented offensive lineman," McShay wrote.

    Sporting News
    Updated May 4

    Contributor Eric Galko is high on Williams. He has the Cleveland Browns taking him No. 5 overall, the highest selection of all the analysts here. What's not clear is how his draft order is determined.

    "The Browns didn’t replace Joe Thomas in the 2018 NFL draft, and they likely will have to find his long-term replacement in 2019," Galko wrote. "Williams projects to be the top offensive tackle in the class."

    CBS Sports
    Updated May 7

    Will Brinson has Williams going 14th overall to the Seattle Seahawks. Like Sporting News, how the draft order was set isn't explained.

    "They keep not picking offensive linemen and we all keep giving them offensive linemen in mock drafts anyway," Brinson wrote.

    San Diego Union-Tribune
    Updated April 30

    Eddie Brown has the Indianapolis Colts selecting Williams with the ninth pick. To determine draft order, he used Super Bowl futures from OddsShark.

    "Next season will be Williams' third leading a dominant Crimson Tide offensive line," Brown wrote.

    Brown also has Smith going in the first round, No. 25 to the Green Bay Packers.

    "Smith is a traditional run-stuffing middle linebacker," Brown wrote.

    Draftwire/USA Today
    Updated April 30

    Luke Easterling thinks Williams would be a good fit for the Chicago Bears with the No. 6 pick. His draft order comes courtesy of Super Bowl futures from Vegas Insider.

    "Continuing the trend of giving Mitchell Trubisky every reason to succeed, Williams is a stud blocker who can plan either tackle spot at a high level," Easterling wrote.

    Walter Football
    Updated May 29

    Arguably the most updated site for mock drafts is run by analyst Walter Cherepinsky. He has Williams going later than the rest, with the Minnesota Vikings taking him at No. 23.

    "The Vikings paid Kirk Cousins a ton of guaranteed money this offseason, so they'll need to make sure they protect him as well as possible," Cherepinsky wrote. "Adding another tackle or guard makes sense. Jonah Williams had a great freshman year as Alabama's right tackle. He's now manning the blind side with Cam Robinson gone."

    Cherepinsky's site covers two rounds. On Day 2, he explains why Smith joining the defending-champion Philadelphia Eagles at No. 41 makes sense.

    "The Eagles have some issues in their linebacking corps," he wrote. "Jordan Hicks has had trouble staying healthy, while Mychal Kendricks will be an impending free agent after the 2019 season."

    Updated May 22

    Dane Brugler projects the underclassman going to the New York Giants with the 11th pick. His draft order is a reverse order of Super Bowl odds, via who he calls his personal adviser.

    "Williams has started all 29 games in his first two seasons in Tuscaloosa, first at right tackle before moving to the left side as a sophomore," Brugler wrote. "His draft arrow is pointing north."

    Draft Site
    Updated in April

    The site doesn't offered detailed analysis, but has a list of the first two rounds. Williams is slated to be drafted at No. 20 by the Detroit Lions. Also going in the first round is Smith, No. 29 to the Jacksonville Jaguars.

Related Topics


  • RamBill
    Mum's the word for Gregg Williams on Rams/PD
    Mum's the word for Gregg Williams on Rams
    • By Jim Thomas

    Mum's the word for Gregg Williams on Rams : Stltoday

    During his introductory press conference as the new senior assistant/defense for the Tennessee Titans, Gregg Williams was asked what went wrong in St. Louis. Williams sidestepped the question like a pass-rusher eluding a blitz pickup.

    “Well, the thing with that is — No. 1 — this is my first day back,” Williams told reporters Thursday in Nashville. “I haven’t talked to anybody. Part of the (suspension) deal is you’re not supposed to talk to anybody. That’s not for me to know.

    “I haven’t talked with anybody in that organization. I’m just happy with the opportunity. . .the fact that I can be here. I haven’t talked about it. This is my first day back in the NFL.”

    Which is an interesting reply. If he hasn’t talked with the Rams, how then did he learn that the Rams didn’t want him back?

    One way around direct communication would've been for the Rams to inform NFL commissioner Roger Goodell that they weren't bringing back Williams, and then for the commissioner to inform Williams.

    Williams had time left on his Rams contract, but there is language in all contracts dealing with suspensions, and in this case a team's right to void the contract because of a suspension.
    -02-08-2013, 08:59 PM
  • RamBill
    Sources: Titans eye Gregg Williams
    Sources: Titans eye Gregg Williams
    By Adam Schefter
    ESPN - Sources: Titans eye Gregg Williams

    Suspended former New Orleans Saints defensive coordinator Gregg Williams has already met with the Tennessee Titans and is on the verge of becoming the Titans' assistant head coach, according to league sources.

    Before Williams can even finalize a contract with the Titans, however, he must first be reinstated by NFL commissioner Roger Goodell -- a move that could come as early as this week.

    Should Williams be reinstated, no obstacles are expected on the contractual front, according to sources. The two sides are familiar with each other with Williams having worked in Tennessee from 1997-2000.

    Williams already has met with Titans officials, including head coach Mike Munchak, who is said to be in favor of Williams' addition to the staff, according to sources.

    Additionally, former Titans head coach and St. Louis Rams coach Jeff Fisher has endorsed Williams to his former employer. Fisher hired Williams to lead St. Louis' defense this year but Williams' suspension for his role in the Saints' bounty scandal lasted the entirety of the 2012-13 season. Williams was not retained by the Rams at season's end.
    -01-26-2013, 06:20 PM
  • Nick
    Ram Bytes: Welcome back, Gregg Williams
    Ram Bytes: Welcome back, Gregg Williams
    3 hours ago • Bernie Miklasz

    Good afternoon. My initial takeaways from the Rams' 13-10 win at San Francisco:

    1. This was the headline of yesterday's triumph: Gregg Williams finally made a positive difference. As the acclaimed defensive coordinator began his first full year on the job at Rams Park, we expected an enhanced defense. The Rams' strength (pass rush) would become even more disruptive. And the weak areas (especially pass defense) would get cleaned up. Williams' aggressive and innovative uses of blitzes and exotic looks would surely elevate the feisty Rams defense.

    Until the conquest of San Francisco, very little went as anticipated. The pass rush got worse, the pass defense was as vulnerable as ever, and the Rams remained vulnerable on outside runs.

    Sunday in Santa Clara, Williams and his defense put it all together with a true-impact performance we'd been waiting for. Williams' designs attacked the *****' interior line, often putting extreme pressure on center Daniel Kilgore and right guard Alex Boone. St. Louis defenders owned that gap for most of the game. The blitzes were more creative. During his time as a Ram we've rarely seen middle LB James Laurinaitis so effective in the pass rush; he had a sack and two pressures.

    There was just a lot of good stuff on display there. The Rams not only had eight sacks of QB Colin Kaepernick, which was plenty. But they caused discomfort all game, with two other hits and 12 hurries.

    Williams clearly made adjustments based on what the Rams saw from the ***** in the Oct. 13 game at the Edward Jones Dome. According to Nick Wagoner of ESPN, Williams even changed his goal-line defense in response to what he learned from the ***** in the first meeting, and that was a big reason for the game-ending stop and Kapernick fumble on the final play.

    This was the Gregg Williams we were waiting for.

    Welcome back, coach.

    So many NFL games are determined by tactics. Sunday in Santa Clara, Williams easily got the best of ***** offensive coordinator Greg Roman.

    2. Kapernick told reporters he was convinced that he crossed the goal line on the final play. And he did. One minor problem: he didn't have the football at the time. Kaepernick's predictable whining conveniently overlooked a couple of things: (A) stupid play-calling; the ***** ran three plays down there at the end and didn't run Frank Gore once. And (B) Kaepernick made an awful throw on second down, forcing WR Michael Crabtree to go low for a catch that prevented him from posting up in the end zone for what should have been an easy TD.

    3. Not that they went head-to-head on every snap ... but one of the real surprises for me yesterday was watching the work of Rams rookie offensive left tackle Greg Robinson against the *****' excellent defensive end Justin Smith. I believe...
    -11-03-2014, 04:22 PM
  • RamWraith
    Broncos' Darrent Williams killed
    Broncos' Williams killed Monday morning
    Associated Press

    DENVER -- Denver Broncos cornerback Darrent Williams was shot and killed in a drive-by shooting in downtown Denver early Monday morning, police said.

    Team spokesman Jim Saccomano said police called him about 3 a.m. Mountain Time from the scene of the shooting and told him three people had been shot and that Williams had been killed.

    Saccomano said he spoke with coach Mike Shanahan and others in the organization.

    "Complete shock. We're speechless. It takes words away. A terrible tragedy," Saccomano said.

    Hours before the shooting, the Broncos lost to San Francisco 26-23 in overtime, eliminating them from the playoff race.

    Copyright 2007 by The Associated Press
    -01-01-2007, 06:35 AM
  • RamWraith
    Williams Named Pro Personnel Director
    Wednesday, February 4, 2009

    By Nick Wagoner
    Senior Writer

    With his search for a head coach at a conclusion and about a week to settle in, Rams General Manager Billy Devaney put the finishing touches on another of his offseason priorities when the Rams made the re-birth of the pro personnel department official

    The Rams have officially added Mike Williams, last with San Francisco, as the team’s new Director of Pro Personnel.

    “Mike knows the players in the NFL and the players in our division,” Rams general manager Billy Devaney said. “He knows rosters from the bottom up and the top down and how players move on and off rosters in the off-season. He will fill an important role in this area.”

    Williams most recently held the title of assistant director of pro personnel for the *****, a job he’s had since 2005.

    The move has been a long time coming for a team that hasn’t had much semblance of a pro personnel department for a number of years. In fact, the last time the Rams had someone in Williams’ position was in 2000.

    Even as he set about the course to find a new head coach, Devaney mentioned that it was a goal to beef up a department that was quite slim.

    “I am anxious to do that,” Devaney said at the time. “That is a little bit down the road right now. We have some names. We are OK right now. That’s part of what pro scouts do. We just need to get some cross checkers in there to get a couple of opinions on these guys. For the time being we’re OK but eventually we need to upgrade especially the pro side, the pro scouting department. We need kind of an overhaul there.”

    After an approximate eight-year hiring freeze, Devaney finally got his man. Williams first visited with the Rams during the coaching search. It was clear then that he had a great shot to land the job but Devaney had the coaching search to wrap up before anything could become official with Williams.

    Williams is set to begin grinding away at this year’s free agent class on Friday, his first official day on the job.

    Among the duties that fall under the Williams umbrella are advance scouting of Rams’ opponents, bringing in street free agents for workouts during the season, watching and evaluating the Rams’ roster as well as other teams and monitoring potential free agents from every NFL roster.

    The Rams will not leave Williams to those tasks by himself, either. Former player Ray Agnew, who has been with the team in a variety of capacities since his playing days, just finished his second season as a pro scout and will serve as Williams’ right hand man.

    Devaney will also help in that area and Les Miller and Brandon Schwab are expected to be a part of the process as well.

    Williams comes to the Rams with a lengthy resume in personnel. He got his NFL start with San Francisco in 1999, volunteering...
    -02-05-2009, 05:25 AM