Arguably the best prospect in the 2019 NFL Draft is Alabama defensive tackle Quinnen Williams. Displaying an incredible combination of speed, strength, and technique, Williams dominated the line of scrimmage in helping the Crimson Tide to another CFP National Championship Game appearance. We think we knew the answer to the question, but we wanted to find out how Alabama fans felt about their future top-ten pick. So we checked in with SB Nation’s Roll Bama Roll, home of all things Crimson Tide. Here’s what their writers had to say about their star lineman.
Quinnen Williams had an awesome season, but Bama is no stranger to world-class players. How does he measure up against recent top prospects?
Quinnen Williams’ 2018 season was probably the most dominant I’ve seen from an Alabama defender in the Nick Saban tenure. And there have been some big seasons out there over the years such as Rolando McClain in 2009 and Jonathan Allen in 2016, and Minkah Fitzpatrick in 2017.
There’s a very real shot Q could go #1 overall. I couldn’t blame the Cards for falling in love with Nick Bosa’s production as an edge rusher, but if they decide they prefer to focus on interior disruption...
How would you characterize Williams? Does he “trust the process”?
Quinnen took a voluntary redshirt when Jonathan Allen decided to return to school, and his patience has paid off in a big way. He has made tremendous strides under DL coach Craig Kuligowski, to the point that many draft boards have him ranked as the top defensive tackle in the country ahead of Houston superstar Ed Oliver...
After a productive season as a rotational guy last year, Williams bulked up some to play the nose tackle spot vacated by first round draft pick Da’Ron Payne and never let go of the opportunity.
What’s the plan to replace Williams on next year’s team?
Williams single-handedly covered up a myriad of defensive issues for the Tide last year by blowing up so many offensive plays before they ever really got started. That kind of impact will likely never be replaced...
Phidarian Mathis had some flashes as a reserve last season and is the favorite to win the job— in fact, Mathis has been my pick for a while for a breakout season next year. However, that was before I actually spent some time watching [freshman 5-star recruit Ishmael] Sopsher. Now I’m not so sure. I think Sopsher will make a strong push for the starting nose tackle job.
I’m going to tentatively predict that Mathis still wins it, but Sopsher is solidly second team and will rotate in more and more as the season goes on.
Williams’s incredible agility led teammate Jonah Williams to liken him to a “300-pound bar of soap”. If that doesn’t describe a player with otherworldly talents for pressuring the pocket, maybe nothing does. Williams impressed Alabama fans seemingly from the day he arrived on campus with a great attitude and better on-field performances, and he’s primed to do the same for an NFL franchise this year.
You can read more on Williams from Roll Bama Roll: