Sports Outside the Beltway

NFL Draft 2010 – Round 1 #26- Arizona- DT Dan Williams writes- Pick Analysis: The Cardinals add a key piece to their defense by nabbing Dan Williams. The hulking interior defender has the size and strength to thrive as a nose tackle, and his ability to occupy multiple blockers should free the team’s linebackers to roam freely inside. Although linebacker remains a pressing need, the decision to fortify the front line should result in better play from the linebacker corps in 2010.


Williams was a three-year starter for the Vols and had a breakout season in 2009. He has an excellent combination of size, strength and athleticism for an interior defender. He plays with great pad level and a natural base to anchor effectively versus the run. He is a powerful bull-rusher who can collapse the pocket in the passing game. Williams can be inconsistent with his effort but does play with an attitude (can be nasty) in the trenches when he wants to. He is tough to move due to great initial punch and good balance and will draw many double-teams on the inside. He doesn’t have great initial quickness to penetrate gaps but is a better run defender than pass rusher in base defenses. He feels pad pressure well and understands how to leverage blockers to maintain gap responsibilities. Williams will fit best as a nose tackle in a 3-4 scheme and will improve his draft status if concerns about his weight and work ethic are answered.

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