Many said that DE Leonard Williams of USC was the best player in the 2015 NFL draft. The way things fell on draft day delivered Williams right to the door of Redskins Park. But Scot McCloughan sent him away, opting instead to take offensive lineman Brandon Scherff with the fifth overall pick.
The Jets, picking sixth, didn’t hesitate to scoop up Williams. When the Redskins played the Jets in Week 6 last year, Williams started and played 57 snaps but he didn’t show up on the stat sheet.
But now with a full season under his belt it looks like Williams is ready to break out. Buster Skirne gets a good view of Williams at practice every day and he said that Williams is “manhandling” whoever lines up across from him.
"Second year in the defense, second year in the conference, I think he's going to dominate this year," Skrine said. "I think he can be a Pro Bowl guy. People know about him now, but with the weapons we've got on the D-line, if you're going to block him as a single, I don’t see it. "
In just 11 snaps in the Jets’ preseason opener Williams recorded a sack of Blake Bortles. He should play more than that when the Jets come to FedEx Field for preseason game No. 2 and the Redskins will get a good look at what could have been.
The Redskins are very happy with Scherff. He missed just one snap last year and he is trending towards being the type of player who is a perennial Pro Bowl participant and perhaps an occasional All-Pro nod.
But, make no mistake about it, the Redskins’ defensive line is still a weakness and a player like Williams could have made a big difference. Defensive coordinator Job Barry, along with a number of fans, may be keeping an eye on Williams with some thoughts of what could have been if he makes some plays on Friday night.