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NFL Draft Dueling Scouting Reports: Leonard Williams

Two separate looks at the same player.

Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports

With the NFL Draft coming up quickly, it is important to remember that everything you read is just one person's perspective. The best way to show this is to compare two scouting reports side-by-side and find what both agree on and where they differ. Today, Terry Lambert and I discuss USC DL Leonard Williams.

Terry's report:

+ Williams is an imposing figure.  Standing tall at 6'5 302 pounds, Williams has ideal size for a "5-tech" defensive end, or a "3-tech" defensive tackle.  He has the length that NFL teams love in their front seven players.

+ The first thing you will notice about Williams on tape is his freakish functional strength.  Williams generates loads of push from his upper body alone.  Even when he doesn't win initially he shows an impressive ability to regain leverage and disrupt plays.

+ Williams has a pair of violent, active hands.  He can shed blocks in an instant and he knows how to set up blockers.  His ability to quickly disengage is the reason that he is such a force against the run.  He shows an explosive punch that jars blockers off balance initially, usually putting Williams in the driver's seat for the rest of the play.

+ He shows off excellent change of direction and agility for such a big player.  He has enough quick twitch ability to force blockers to respect him in that aspect.  This trait paired with his explosive hands give Williams an array of moves that he can use to get after the passer.

+ Williams is giving his all on every play.  You rarely see a play that he takes off.  He's always working to sort through the trash against the run, doing everything possible to get to the ball carrier.  His motor is nonstop in all aspects.

- The one real knock on Leonard is his get off.  He's consistently playing one step behind for whatever reason.  He flashes an ability to fly off of the ball, but we don't see it consistently enough.  If Williams can improve his snap anticipation at the next level, he will be a complete stud.


Williams has all of the tools and ability to be a franchise type player at the next level.  His blend of size and athletic ability is incredible for his position.  He will be a force against the run instantly and has a chance to develop into an elite interior pass rusher as well.  His motor and instincts are what pushes him over the top to me.  His eyes are always up, trying to follow the football.  I believe in Williams because of his disengaging ability.  He hasn't seen a block that he can't get off of.  Williams will be a defensive force from his first day on the job.  I don't see him making it out of the top four picks in this year's draft.

My report:


-Often demands double teams because of his position on the field and his physical presence

-Plays multiple positions and could translate to 5-tech, 3-tech, 1-tech, or NT.

-Impressive range of block shedding moves: Bullrush, swim, and spin among them.

-Asked to play a high number of snaps and does so without every really looking out of the game.

-Can have devastating power when he gets space to pick up steam.

-Has huge upside considering his knowledge of the game and his age.


-Not especially quick off LOS and it hurts his leverage sometimes.

-I’m not sold he has a permanent place on a team in pass rushing downs.


-Leonard Williams is an outstanding prospect that excels at everything he does except pass rushing. He is the ideal 5-tech that can be dominant on a snap to snap basis, and can play the Justin Smith role in edge stunts in a 3-4. Williams is a player that could earn a starting spot on all 32 teams in the league, and he will instantly make any 3-4 OLBs around him better.