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2017 NFL Draft Profile: Should Tim Williams be on the Steelers draft radar?

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The Pittsburgh Steelers are looking for help at linebacker, but would Tim Williams from Alabama be a good fit for the black and gold?

Auburn v Alabama Photo by Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images

There is no doubt the Pittsburgh Steelers are looking at pass rushing linebackers, a lot, in the months leading up to the 2017 NFL Draft. The team’s only viable options at the position heading into their next season reside in 39 year-old James Harrison, Bud Dupree, Anthony Chickillo and Arthur Moats. So, yeah, they will want to draft a young player capable of at least being a part-time player alongside Harrison in his rookie season.

The need is obvious, but the prospect is where things get dicey. Could Alabama’s Tim Williams be on the team’s draft radar in the early rounds? We take a look at him in our latest BTSC NFL Draft Profile, brought to you by Nicholas Martin.

Tim Williams

Height: 6'3"

Weight: 244 LBS

Arm length: 32 3/4"

Hands: 9 1/4"

Bio

Williams was named second-team AP All-American and All SEC. In 2016 he had 31 tackles with 16 being for a loss of yards and 9 sacks on the year, however, he often was subbed in and out off the field leading to questions about his ability to set the edge against the run, or whether he understood Alabama’s scheme.

Strengths

Elite hip flexibility as demonstrated by ability to dip and bend around the edge. He shows a knack for being able to time the snap count and has good but not great explosion off the snap. When on the field it becomes increasingly evident that Williams sets a hard edge against the run and is generally disciplined in contain when left unblocked. Tackling in space is not a problem and he changes direction quite well. Closing speed is very apparent on film when he has a clear shot at the QB. When rushing the passer he contains an arsenal of moves from the dip and rip, club, swim, one arm stab and spin. Often has a plan of attack as he sells his fakes really well and shows elite counter ability. Has an understanding of when to attack the arch and when to attack inside. Hand usage is elite as he shows great timing and technique.

Weakness

Questionable ankle flexibility as he often falls down as he twists and turns inside to get the QB which can lead to missed sacks. Straight line speed is only adequate and nothing exceptional. His explosion while good, is not elite, much more timing of the snap count than explosion involved. I question why he wasn’t on the field as a full time player and whether that was due to notions about his ability to stop the run, or whether or not he understood Alabama’s defensive scheme. Off field history will have to be examined closely by teams and admitted that he failed multiple drug tests at Alabama. Will be 24 years old in November.

NFL Comparison: Shaun Phillips

Highlights:
(Editor’s Note: Video audio is not safe for work)