NY Jets: Quinnen Williams is quietly breaking out this season

NY Jets, Quinnen Williams Mandatory Credit: Geoff Burke-USA TODAY Sports
NY Jets, Quinnen Williams Mandatory Credit: Geoff Burke-USA TODAY Sports /

NY Jets’ defensive lineman Quinnen Williams is quietly breaking out in his second season.

When a team invests the third overall pick in a player in the NFL Draft, they hope to be drafting an immediate impact player. One that not only can be a building block going forward but one they believe will be a Pro Bowl player by the end of their rookie year.

Anything less, and a fanbase will write them off as a bust.

For a handful of NY Jets fans, after his rookie season, defensive tackle Quinnen Williams reached that status. First, it did not help that Pro Bowl edge rushers Nick Bosa and Josh Allen were picked just before and shortly after him.

But for Williams to only put up 2.5 sacks in 13 games, only nine of them being starts, was quite disappointing. Just like that, many Jets fans were ready to write him off — that was until this season.

It has recently been announced that Williams will be doubtful for the Jets’ Monday night showdown against the New England Patriots.

A game that might just be the Jets’ best chance at winning in 2020. To not have Williams along the interior would be a huge loss for defensive coordinator Gregg Williams.

Through eight games this season, Williams has begun to establish himself as a top defensive tackle. On the surface, he already has career highs in sacks, tackles, and tackles for loss.

Williams is ranked as Pro Football Focus‘ 30th overall defensive lineman, as he has made his presence felt throughout every game this season. Simply take a look at the field day Williams had earlier this season against the San Francisco 49ers.

The NY Jets have seen massive improvements from Quinnen Williams as a pass-rusher.

The most notable development has been how well-rounded his game has become this season. As a rookie, the 6-foot-3 and 303-pound defender was primarily used as a run-stuffer — a role that was highly criticized given his athletic ability.

However, when the Jets traded Leonard Williams last season, Williams began to earn more pass-rushing opportunities. Now in his first full season not only as a starter but the team’s primary pass rusher along the line, Williams has shown he can wreak havoc on opposing quarterbacks.

He put this on full display this past week against the Kansas City Chiefs.

This season, Williams currently sits tied for first in defensive run stops with 23 and tied for second in run-stuffs with nine. One of the biggest reasons is Williams’ instincts.

In his second season, he has gained a better feel for plays as they develop around him whether in the run or pass game.

It was only a week ago that Quinnen Williams was rumored to be dealt for less than a first-round pick. For a 22-year old who is blossoming right before the Jets’ eyes, it would be foolish to deal him.

With at least two seasons left on his rookie contract, Douglas will be building around him, not dealing him.

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That being said, Jets fans, the time is now buy into Williams as a building block going forward.