The Buffalo Bills by all accounts had a successful draft. They filled positions of need at the offensive line, and added new weapons. One of the more pressing positions the Bills had to address was linebacker. With Tremaine Edmunds heading to the Chicago Bears, the team had a massive hole to fill. General manager Brandon Beane combated this need by using the team’s third-round pick on Dorian William — a 6’2”, 225-pound linebacker out of Tulane. Let’s see what the tape says about the Tulane product and if he can really be an impact starter in year one.
Williams running down the ball carrier
One of the most important components to being a good linebacker is the ability to adeptly chase down the ball carrier. On this play, we see Williams successfully read, shed and then chase down the running back. Pre-snap Williams was lined up over the center. When the ball was snapped Williams waits to diagnose the play (not committing to either side of the field). He then shed the lead blocker in the hole, and engaged in pursuit to make the tackle.
Dorian Williams plays fast
To be a successful NFL linebacker, players must be fast and willing to put their bodies on the line. On this play, Williams engaged the offensive lineman at the snap. He quickly shed the block and shifted right, diving in for the tackle of the running quarterback.
Williams reads the backfield
Utilizing patience and reading the backfield is a desired and expected trait of NFL linebackers. Pre-snap the running back was on the left side with Williams across from him. At the snap, Williams discarded his blocker. He then slowed down to read where the running back is going (right) and followed the flow (left), which allowed him to make a tackle across the field.
As you can see, the Dorian Williams has a lot of talent. During the 2022 college football season alone, he totaled 131 tackles. Williams has the speed and athleticism to make an impact with the Buffalo Bills during his rookie year. After learning more about Dorian Williams in the weeks following the 2023 NFL Draft, are you encouraged by what you see in his play?