New York Jets 2015 Training Camp Profile: Leonard Williams


The New York Jets added depth to their already loaded defensive line with the selection of Leonard Williams out of the University of Southern California. The 6th overall pick has played across the entire line for USC with extraordinary power and force.

With the suspension of Sheldon Richardson for the first four games of the 2015 season, Williams is expected to contribute immediately in New York. So far, teammates and coaches alike are indicating Williams displays what it takes to learn quickly and contribute early.

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Williams is lauded for his unbelievable strength on the line and ability to bully his way through the offensive line. In 2014 with USC, the defensive end recorded 80 tackles, nearly 10 for a loss and 7.0 sacks. He was named USC’s Most Valuable Player and Defensive Lineman of the Year in back-to-back seasons (2013-2014).

Training camp will test Williams and his ability to build skills on top of his raw talent. Expect to see him working on his ability to communicate efficiently with the rest of the line and improve his pass rush. Williams can be a bit slow off the snap and transitioning to a pass rush from a run block has proven to be an area of weakness. Early reports out of OTA’s indicate Williams is already communicating well and picking up on the Jets’ defensive playbook.

Darryl Slater of quotes fellow lineman Damon Harrison on his progress so far on the Jets:

"“Damn good guy, heck of an athlete, freakish athlete,” Harrison said of Williams…”He picked up on what we’ve installed. He picked up on that pretty quick, so it’s allowed him to play faster than what other rookies have been doing. That’s a credit to him, man, because it’s not easy to learn an NFL defense.”"

Apr 30, 2015; Chicago, IL, USA; Leonard Williams (Southern California) poses for a photo after being selected as the number sixth overall pick to the New York Jets in the first round of the 2015 NFL Draft at the Auditorium Theatre of Roosevelt University. Mandatory Credit: Dennis Wierzbicki-USA TODAY Sports

The absence of Richardson has placed Williams in an even brighter spotlight this season and he’ll have a lot to prove through training camp and the preseason. Look for him to play well through first team snaps during camp and preseason. He’ll be one of a few rookies looking at a Week 1 starting position come September 13th.

Next: New York Jets 2015 Training Camp: Top 3 offensive surprises

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