This series breaks down the players selected by Baltimore in the 2017 NFL Draft and opportunities for improvement in their second NFL season.
The last post discussed Chris Wormley, a third round selection for the Ravens. In 2017, Baltimore had another third round pick, and selected linebacker Tim Williams from Alabama 78th overall.
Williams fell down boards due to character concerns, mainly stemming from his 2016 arrest for carrying a pistol without a permit. Based off of talent alone, Williams was a first round prospect as one of - if not the best - pure pass rushers in the class. Some deemed Williams a one-trick pony, with that trick being rushing the passer. Williams was considered a raw prospect that needed put weight on for the NFL level and to improve on his run defense and setting the edge.
In college, Williams did not see significant playing time until his junior year, where he made his presence known. In his last two seasons with the Tide, Williams totaled 18.5 sacks in 25 games. Williams was able to rack up this many sacks despite being used as a situational pass rusher, meaning he did not see the field on many first and second downs, taking away opportunities for more sacks. During his collegiate career, Williams amassed 57 total tackles (30 for loss), 20 sacks, three pass defenses, two forced fumbles, one fumble recovery and one touchdown.
While Williams was slated as a project player coming out of college, his rookie season was still a disappointment. In 2017, Williams played in just eight games and had a total of five tackles and zero sacks. His blazing speed from the edge that he displayed in college was noticeably lacking in the NFL. It is possible that the extra bulk he added on prior to the start of the season slowed him down. Cutting weight may ultimately be the best option for Williams if the Ravens want to get that elite pass rush from him in the future.
Williams could turn into a key situational pass rusher for Baltimore if he can eventually replicate his college production. With an aging Terrell Suggs, the Ravens need another young pass rusher to pair with Matt Judon. With another year or two of playing time and development, Williams could potentially fill that void and become a menace to opposing quarterbacks.