The big man taking up the middle of the field is hard to miss. The fact that he moves like he does, and can stand on his hands and walk is just ridiculous. But Brandon Williams is more than just a physical specimen- he is a very talented player too. The latest of the Ravens 3rd round success stories, Williams just completed his first year as a starter. Starting next to Haloti Ngata, Williams dominated the line of scrimmage and shut down opposing teams run game. The big question is whether he can keep it up now that he is the main man on the line. But its not like the front office has not provided him with help- 2014 2nd rounder Timmy Jernigan and 2015 3rd rounder Carl Davis are both high upside players too, not to mention the depth the Ravens boast on the defensive line.
Questions aside, Williams earned respect league wide for his 2014 play. First he was ranked 101st overall by PFF back in May. Now, NFL analyst Bucky Brooks has ranked him as the 5th best run stopper, mostly behind players with years of high level play like Ndamukong Suh (#1), Marcel Dareus (#2), and Damon Harrison (#4). Here is what Brooks had to say about Williams:
5) Brandon Williams, NT, Baltimore Ravens
It's uncommon for nose tackles to garner widespread recognition for their efforts on the front line, but Williams has created a buzz in league circles as an emerging force at the point of attack. The 6-foot-1, 335-pounder wreaks havoc with his rugged playing style and explosive power. Williams excels at occupying multiple blockers in the middle, allowing linebackers C.J. Mosley and Daryl Smith to flow freely to the ball. Most importantly, Williams is the centerpiece of an ultra-aggressive D-line that only surrendered 3.6 rushing yards per attempt in 2014, a figure that ranked third among NFL defenses.
Williams, out of Missouri Southern, is now the leader on a line which has dominated run games. The Ravens have never allowed over 4 yards per carry in any season of their 19 year history. They also currently carry a 26 game streak of not allowing a 100 yard rusher, the longest active streak in the NFL. The team record is 39 games. The Ravens have a storied history of not allowing teams to beat them with the run, so Williams is the next one up. From what we have seen so far, he might rank as the best when he leaves Baltimore.
This year with Ngata gone, we will likely get to see more of him in the passing game too. Here is to hoping we get to see him walk on his hands while sacking a QB...