Jets News

Jets DL Quinnen Williams leaning on veteran teammate for wisdom

NASHVILLE, TENNESSEE - APRIL 25: Quinnen Williams of Alabama reacts after he was picked #3 overall by the New York Jets during the first round of the 2019 NFL Draft on April 25, 2019 in Nashville, Tennessee. (Photo by Andy Lyons/Getty Images)
NASHVILLE, TENNESSEE - APRIL 25: Quinnen Williams of Alabama reacts after he was picked #3 overall by the New York Jets during the first round of the 2019 NFL Draft on April 25, 2019 in Nashville, Tennessee. (Photo by Andy Lyons/Getty Images)
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The New York Jets have a talented rookie in Quinnen Williams, but the top-five draft pick is doing everything he can to lean on a veteran teammate during the team’s mandatory minicamp.

Quinnen Williams, the No. 3 overall pick in the 2019 NFL draft, enters the league with plenty of hype and sky-high expectations after a dominant sophomore season at Alabama. But the rookie knows he has a lot to learn if he wants to be successful at the next level, and he’s leaning on teammate Steve McLendon for that wisdom.

McLendon is helping Williams fine-tune his technique in hopes of maximizing his raw talent (via team reporter Ethan Greenberg):

The thing he always tells me is be the best I can be every day and yesterday doesn’t mean anything. A lot of people say that, but knowing that he’s still learning and he still makes mistakes, he’ll learn from me. It’s amazing to see. He always coaches me up to the side when I come off the field. ‘Q, your first step has to be vertical, it can’t be horizontal.’ Then when he comes off the field I’m like, ‘Bro, your first step was horizontal, you have to get it vertical.’

So we just feed off each other, but he helps me tremendously. He really took me under his wing and I really have a role model to follow in everything we do.

McLendon has managed to carve out a decade-long NFL career despite going undrafted, and his experience should serve Williams well as he acclimates to the speed of the NFL game. Even though Williams was dominant against SEC competition, he still only started for one season, and enjoying that kind of success at the NFL level is a completely different challenge.

Williams is surrounded by talented veterans throughout the entire defense, as well, including Pro Bowl safety Jamal Adams, free agent linebacker C.J. Mosley, and defensive lineman Leonard Williams, who was also a top-10 draft pick.

Next. Nick Saban on Quinnen Williams

The Jets have the makings of a top-10 defense on paper, and if Williams can reach his lofty potential sooner than later, this unit could have the Gang Green thinking postseason in 2019.

What are your expectations for Quinnen Williams in his rookie season? Give us your take in the comment section!

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