Quinnen Williams didn’t come into the NFL Scouting Combine with something to prove. The former Alabama defensive tackle simply planned to be himself in meetings and drills to support dynamic game tape from last season.
With no worries, no stress, Williams’ intelligence and ability would shine through.
“I don't really sell myself to NFL teams,” Williams said. “I really just answer the questions they have to the best of my ability and just let my actions speak for itself.”
Williams owned his Saturday press conference and individual team meetings. Then, on Sunday, he confirmed his status as an elite NFL draft prospect.
Williams ran a 4.87-second unofficial 40-yard dash at the combine, a lightning quick time for a 300-plus pound defensive lineman.
His agent Nicole Lynn told him to skip the second attempt, to let that awesome first run stand alone.
“He didn’t listen,” she wrote in a tweet. “Decided to bet on himself and beat his first time.”
Williams did exactly that, turning in a 4.83 on his second run. Per NFL Network, that the fourth fastest time for someone over 300 pounds and the fastest since 2012.
His 1.67-second 10-yard split is even more impressive, considering that distance is where defensive linemen start moving their feet. He showed great change of direction, lateral movement, agility, and coordination in other drills, proving his raw athleticism helps him create havoc on the defensive interior for the Crimson Tide.
We already knew Williams was a special player from watching Alabama. He has power and technique, with tremendous upside considering he was so successful in his only year’s experience playing on the defensive interior.
He was a consensus top-5 pick heading into the combine, and will leave as one.
The Raiders really liked Williams entering this week, the combine put him in greater esteem. After speaking with several sources at the combine, I believe that, if he’s available and the Raiders are on the clock at No. 4 overall, Williams won’t make it to No. 5.
They’d have a tough decision to make if Ohio State edge rusher Nick Bosa is still on the board, but he isn’t expected to last past the 49ers at No. 2.
The Raiders have zero concern about taking Williams a year after drafting P.J. Hall and Maurice Hurst, either. Quality inside pass rushers are vital in today’s NFL.
“We drafted two young pass rushers inside last year,” Raiders head coach Jon Gruden said. “We might be in the market for another one.”
Williams would fit at No. 4. The real question, however, if he’ll last that long. The New York Jets could be a landing spot at No. 3, or a team could trade up to get him.
Quarterbacks going above the Raiders will push elite defensive prospects down to the fourth spot.
Williams could be that guy, or he could be one of the first off the board. Williams doesn’t care much about his exact draft slot. He just wants an opportunity to go play.
“I know going No. 1 doesn't mean nothing, for real,” Williams said. “Like guy (with) five stars in high school, it's the same thing. Going to Alabama, you could be a five star on the sideline. So I know being a No. 1 draft pick, you could go to the NFL, and if you don't work, you going to be on the sideline. And I want to play. I had a great year last year and I want to keep that going and show the world that it wasn't just a burst out year, and that I'm a really good football player and I can play this game.”
He showed playing ability at Alabama. He showed he can run on Sunday, as you can see below.