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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
    BY NOEL HARRIS
    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."

    NFLDraftScout
    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.

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  • Rip32
    Jimmy Williams is a confident kid!!!
    Rip32
    Feb. 27, 2006
    By Clark Judge
    CBS SportsLine.com Senior Writer
    Tell Clark your opinion!


    INDIANAPOLIS -- The next great NFL cornerback is here. Just ask him.

    "I can match up with any receiver in the country," said Virginia Tech's Jimmy Williams.

    Williams is at the top of a deep class of defensive backs, with the emphasis on size. At 6-feet-2, 213 pounds, he's bigger than what we've come to expect from cornerbacks -- but get used to it.

    Florida State's Antonio Cromartie is 6-2, 208; Miami's Marcus Maxey is 6-2; Penn State's Alan Zemaitis is 6-1; the University of Texas' Cedric Griffin is just over 6 feet. Then there's Williams, who can line up at either cornerback or safety ... and who has.

    "Are you the best cornerback in this year's draft?" he was asked at this year's NFL scouting combine.

    "Yes, sir," he said. "I should go in the top 10, to be honest with you."

    He might be right. There's a premium on big corners that can cover, and Jimmy Williams can. In fact, he can do it all. He can run. He can hit. He's not afraid to tackle. He's good at jamming receivers; he's good playing off them, too. And did we mention he's confident?

    Williams did, and he'll roll up his sleeves to prove it. On his right forearm there's a tattoo that reads, "Destined 2," and on the other are the words "Be Great." I think you get the idea.

    "Every time I look down I keep my 'swag' and keep myself confident that I want to be good," said Williams. "It's something to remind me every day."

    As if he needs help.

    It was Williams who, prior to the 2004 season, predicted that USC wide receiver Mike Williams wouldn't be productive if allowed to play in the season opener against Virginia Tech. Williams wasn't, but that didn't stop Jimmy Williams' head coach from intervening and banning his cornerback from talking to the media.

    For the rest of the season.

    "I learned after that," said Williams. "You have to watch what you say, but if you're being honest, at the end of the day more people respect you. I had fun with it, and I'll be glad to just go out and play. But I need the media."

    Williams played his first two years as a safety before switching to cornerback, where he led the ACC in interceptions his junior season with five. Williams prefers cornerback -- saying he wants to prove that big guys can excel at the position -- but his NFL future may depend on times in the 40-yard dash at Tuesday's workouts.

    "In my opinion he's a corner who, down the road, can become a safety," said Atlanta coach Jim Mora, a former secondary coach. "If he runs a fast 40 that will confirm it; if he doesn't, maybe you have to rethink...
    -03-02-2006, 08:44 AM
  • Varg6
    JAGS DROP FORMER STARTERS PASHOS, WILLIAMS (9:47 p.m. ET)
    Varg6
    JAGS DROP FORMER STARTERS PASHOS, WILLIAMS (9:47 p.m. ET)


    The Jacksonville Jaguars have cut right tackle Tony Pashos and cornerback Brian Williams, both former starters.

    Both players signed lucrative free-agent contracts in recent years, but were beaten out by rookies during the preseason.

    Pashos started 31 games the last two years. He struggled last season, though, and the Jaguars drafted offensive tackles Eugene Monroe and Eben Britton with their top two picks. Pashos moved to guard in Thursday night's preseason finale and played well, but Jacksonville asked him to play for less money and he refused, his agent said Saturday.

    Williams started 45 games the last three years, but was behind rookie Derek Cox this fall and too expensive to keep as a nickel back.

    -- The Associated Press

    They seem like they'd both be solid pickups for the Rams?
    -09-06-2009, 09:57 AM
  • MauiRam
    Interesting stuff on Gregg Williams ..
    MauiRam
    Jeff Curry-USA TODAY Sports

    One of the Rams biggest offseason acquisitions was Gregg Williams. The notorious defensive coordinator is expected to be a shot in the arm for a defense on the verge of becoming one of the league’s best.

    On February 12, 2014, the St. Louis Rams announced they had hired Gregg Williams to take over at defensive coordinator for the recently dismissed Tim Walton. A mere 10 days after Super Bowl 48 was dominated by a top defense, the Rams were sending a message to the rest of the NFL. Hiring one of the most creative, and aggressive, defensive coordinators of the Super Bowl era sent a clear message regarding the Rams intended return path to Super Bowl glory.

    A defensive line loaded with first round talent, anchored by the best edge rusher in the NFL, and a solid linebacking corps likely provide Williams with the best front 7 he's ever coached. A talented but inexperienced, and often undisciplined, secondary offers Williams the biggest opportunity to "coach up" the defense and put them squarely into the upper echelon of the NFL.

    The Rams also added exciting young defensive pieces through the draft. Aaron Donald has generated as much training camp buzz as any rookie in the NFL. Young defensive backs Lamarcus Joyner and EJ Gaines have both flashed impact player ability.

    Since taking over the roster in 2012 Les Snead and Jeff Fisher have managed to transform the most talent deficient rosters in the NFL into one of the richest. With a lack of talent no longer the problem in St. Louis, it is time for the Rams to take a step forward into playoff and title contention.

    Much has been written and said about the Rams defensive potential under the guidance of Gregg Williams since February. One of the best takes on Williams' defensive philosophy and how it impacts the Rams was provided by Matt Bowen, former NFL safety who played for Williams during his time with the Washington Redskins.

    One of the things Williams' defenses are known for is their aggressive blitzes and knack for generating turnovers. Bowen discusses in some detail just how much additional stress Williams' blitz schemes put on the defensive secondary, and in particular he discussed how second-round draft choice Lamarcus Joyner fits within that scheme.

    As exciting as it is to envision the pressure this Rams team will generate in 2014, it’s hard to ignore the feeling of dread associated with the secondary. The defense's weakest (and most inexperienced) unit will be tasked with more difficult assignments, which will undoubtedly lead to big plays by the opposition.

    I do believe Williams will cater his defensive schemes to the personnel he has available, and perhaps the young secondary is up to the challenge, but there will surely be growing pains along the way. With the type of pressure the Rams' front four can generate, it is possible...
    -08-14-2014, 07:57 PM
  • Nick
    Scout's Take: Andre Williams reminds some of Alfred Morris
    Nick
    Scout's Take: Andre Williams reminds some of Alfred Morris
    By Bucky Brooks
    NFL Media analyst
    Published: Nov. 25, 2013 at 10:07 p.m.

    Is Andre Williams a one-year wonder?

    That's the question NFL scouts are pondering after watching the Boston College standout emerge from relative obscurity to become the leading rusher in the nation.

    Last weekend, Williams became the 13th runner in FBS history to top the 2,000-yard mark with a 263-yard effort against Maryland. The performance marked his ninth 100-yard game of the season and the fifth time Williams surpassed 200 rushing yards. Additionally, it was the sixth time Williams logged at least 30-plus rushing attempts in a game, which is uncommon in today's pass-happy collegiate game.

    I've been impressed with his combination of strength, power and explosiveness this season. Measuring 6-foot, 227 pounds, Williams runs through contact at the point of attack while exhibiting surprising balance and body control for a big back. He rarely goes down on initial contact and consistently falls forward at the end of runs.

    Of course, those traits are expected from a big, physical runner, but I've been most impressed by Williams' sneaky quickness and big-play ability. He shows a nifty pitter-pat move in the hole and has a knack for avoiding defenders at the second level. Although he is certainly not a jitterbug on the perimeter, Williams displays enough elusiveness to make defenders miss in space and flashes the burst to run away from the secondary. As a result, he leads the nation in runs of 30-plus yards (17) and averages a hefty 6.5 yards per carry this season.

    Despite the impressive numbers on his resume, the jury is still out on whether Williams will be a fantastic player at the next level. Skeptics will question why he has only one season of significant production despite having 15 career starts heading into the season. Although Williams has led the team in various rushing statistics throughout his tenure, he failed to crack the 1,000-yard mark in any of his previous seasons, and he failed to make a significant impact as the Eagles' lead runner. Therefore, scouts will wonder if he can sustain his success at the next level when the speed, quickness and athleticism of defenders result in smaller holes between the tackles.

    Additionally, scouts will want to see if Williams is capable of contributing as a receiver in the passing game. He doesn't have any receptions in 2013, and only 10 catches in his career. More important, I've been told by NFL scouts familiar with his game that it's "painful" to watch him attempt to catch the ball and that he will have a tough time making contributions as a receiver at the next level. With NFL offensive coordinators preferring running backs with the ability to run, catch and block out of the backfield, Williams' questionable receiving skills could prevent him from earning...
    -11-30-2013, 02:57 PM
  • DJRamFan
    USC still unsure of WR Williams' status
    DJRamFan
    Aug. 24, 2004
    By Dennis Dodd
    SportsLine.com Senior Writer
    Tell Dennis your opinion!


    It's looking less likely that USC receiver Mike Williams will play in Saturday's season opener against Virginia Tech.

    Advertisement


    Williams' eligibility status remained up in the air Tuesday, four days before the season begins. He is attempting to regain his amateur status after declaring for the NFL draft, hiring an agent and accepting money from his representative.

    Coach of the No. 1 Trojans, an optimistic Pete Carroll, said on Tuesday there is a "possibility" that Williams could still play in the opener. However, time is running out.

    USC faxed what is thought the be the final documents needed by the NCAA regarding Williams on Tuesday. The school now awaits the NCAA's decision.

    A school source considered Williams' chance at reinstatement at "50-50 at best."

    "It's been so frustrating of late that things have not been able to culminate to an end," Carroll said. "We'll just sit on it and see what happens."

    With him, USC gets another Heisman Trophy candidate (quarterback Matt Leinart already is considered the favorite) added to its already powerful lineup. Without him, the Trojans will have to move on with a largely inexperienced, but talented, set of receivers.

    USC already will be missing starting tailback Hershel Dennis, who is indefinitely suspended for a violation of team rules.

    While there is no "drop dead" date for Williams to be able play this week, the team leaves for the Washington D.C. area on Thursday. Presumably, Williams could hop on a flight as late as Friday, if he is cleared.

    "The NCAA has been so methodical about this," Carroll said. "I'm not surprised it's gone this long, just by the feel of it."

    Williams has been held out of practice the past two weeks as USC put in the game plan for Virginia Tech. Most likely, there are three possible outcomes to his future:

    He could be declared permanently ineligible by the NCAA;
    He could be reinstated by the NCAA;
    He could be reinstated by the NCAA after being suspended for one or more games.
    The 6-foot-5, 230-pound rising junior has been one of the most dominant receivers in the country the past two years. The Tampa, Fla., product caught 95 passes for 1,314 yards and 16 touchdowns last year in helping lead the Trojans to a co-national championship. He was projected as a first-round choice after declaring for the draft.

    Advertisement


    Williams declared for the NFL draft after Maurice Clarett's legal challenge briefly opened the door to players less than three years out of high school. The NFL retained its three-year rule because...
    -08-25-2004, 10:04 AM
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