When Ravens defensive tackle Brandon Williams re-upped with the Ravens with a five year, fifty-two million dollar deal, some Ravens fans arched eyebrows. With the latest depth chart being released, the Ravens coaching staff and Williams himself are now trying to prove the contract's worth.
Williams is no stranger to the three technique. The alignments that featured both Williams and undrafted rookie Michael Pierce were the key in the rise of a Ravens run defense that was elite, only giving up around 65 yards a game for the first three quarters of the season. Williams showed quickness and even explosiveness off the line of scrimmage and more than enough mobility to scrape down the line and make plays in pursuit.
The question for Williams now comes where his work against the pass is regarded: can he be more than an early down pocket pusher?
With the departure of Timmy Jernigan, the Ravens no longer have a proven defensive lineman to build their defense around. To take full adavantage of the added athleticism on the edge and up the middle (in the form of Kamelei Correa), Williams will need to show added agility, consistent leverage and a consistent get-off off the line of scrimmage to split or at least command double teams in the way that Pernell McPhee used to do.
If Williams is able to consistently affect opposing passing games, his contract will without doubt be earned in full. Now, given a marquee position along the defensive line, his move will remain a story to be followed as the season progresses.