The New York Jets have a stud defensive lineman in rookie Quinnen Williams, but he knows he still has much he can learn from his veteran teammates.
When the Jets spent the No. 3 overall pick in the 2019 NFL draft on Alabama defensive lineman Quinnen Williams, many believed the Gang Green had just stolen the best overall prospect in a class loaded with interior defensive line talent.
Williams needed just one season as a starter for the Crimson Tide to establish himself as the most dominant defensive lineman in all of college football, wrecking opponents and making ridiculous plays on the regular.
But as he works through his first round of offseason workouts and minicamps at the NFL level, Williams is doing everything he can to learn from the experienced players around him (via team reporter Olivia Landis):
It’s been amazing. Really the thing that got me well-adjusted was hanging out with the vets. Learning from guys like Steve McLendon, who taught me a lot of stuff on and off the field and Leo, who taught me a lot of stuff on and off the field. But the main thing was learning football: how to make a routine, how to take care of your body, how to get treatment. It’s been very easy just having a great group of older guys around me to help me out.
Even when he’s not on the field, Williams is paying close attention to what he can learn from the players who have already proven they can play at a high level in the NFL:
Every time I’m on the sideline and I watch the 1’s go, I take mental reps and know the play and say the play to myself. I find out what Steve is doing when he comes off the field and immediately – boom – why did you do this? What did you do that for? So then I know that when my time comes I can do the same exact thing and I cannot be a drop off.
Being such a high draft pick comes with ridiculous expectations, but after playing for Nick Saban, holding yourself to a high standard of excellence on a daily basis is nothing new to Williams. He’s used to being surrounded by talented teammates, and after dominating SEC competition, he’s proven he can hang with the best players in the country.
He’s barely scratching the surface of his potential, and it shouldn’t take long for Williams to prove himself as one of the best young defensive linemen in the NFL.