#10 Jonah Williams Offensive Tackle Alabama
Jonah Williams is an interesting prospect to me because of how a lot of analysts view him. His profile on nfl.com lists him as a guard, yet Williams’ natural position is offensive tackle. Not only do I think Williams is the best tackle in this draft, I strongly think he’s the best offensive lineman overall.
The skepticism surrounding Williams’ ability to play tackle seems to stem from his lack of arm length. He proved this past season that he can overcome his short arms; he demonstrated that while playing in the best conference in college football (the SEC) and by holding his own against the best defensive line in college football (Clemson).
The first element I noticed of Williams’ game were his feet. He has quick feet that allow him to mirror defensive linemen well in pass protection. He also utilizes great hand placement, which is how he is able to overcome his short arms. These two qualities are the reasons why I believe he should stay at tackle. Williams is also an effective run blocker and has proven his ability to cancel defenders on the second level. At times, he will over run linebackers and safeties, but if he can learn to take smaller steps and not be in such a hurry, he will overcome that.
A friend told me a story the other day about Jonah Williams and Todd McShay confirmed it. Before the beginning of this past season, Alabama’s coaching staff asked Williams if he would consider playing center and he said no…I don’t have a stat to back this up, but I’d be willing to bet that most players who tell Nick Saban “no” end up losing a scholarship. Williams however, became a unanimous All-America and that should tell you something.
In order to sign Nick Foles, Jacksonville had to cut offensive tackle Jeremy Parnell. You have to think the Jaguars will be looking to protect their investment in Foles, so adding an All-American left tackle would make sense. The Dolphins lost Ja’Wuan James to the Broncos and according to Ourlads.com, they only have two tackles on their roster. If Williams is there at 11, the smart move for the Dolphins is to take him seeing as they will have a new quarterback in the next two years. Believe it or not, Fitzmagic is not the long-term solution in Miami.
I can see the Packers potentially passing on Williams if he’s still available at pick 12. However, the Packers allowed 53 sacks last season, which was fourth most in the NFL and one more than the Raiders allowed. Green Bay could turn to the draft to improve upon that. I would imagine that Williams would end up playing guard with David Bakhtiari and Brian Bulaga holding both starting tackle spots. While I think Jonah Williams will be an excellent tackle, that’s not to say I doubt that he will excel at guard. He has Pro Bowl potential and would be a safe pick for any team.