Sports | April 25, 2019 10:30 am

NFL Draft: Forget Murray and Bosa, Quinnen Williams May Be the Draft’s Best Player

The Alabama DT has strength, speed and skill in spades

Quinnen Williams #92 of the Alabama Crimson Tide. (Photo by Jamie Schwaberow/Getty Images)
Quinnen Williams #92 of the Alabama Crimson Tide. (Photo by Jamie Schwaberow/Getty Images)
Getty Images

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Quarterback Kyler Murray is being projected to go first overall by many pundits with Ohio State’s Nick Bosa quickly following him, but some believe Quinnen Williams out of Alabama may actually be the draft’s best player.

Williams, a defensive tackle by trade, offers a tantalizing mix of strength, speed and skill which could combine to make him an elite pass-rusher at the NFL level. Also, because he’s so versatile, Williams can line up at multiple spots along the line or even play off of it if need be.

A defensive end in with the body of a nose tackle, Williams won the 2018 Outland Trophy for being college football’s best interior lineman.

“Quinnen Williams is the new-school next generation of pass-rush D-linemen,” Chuck Smith, a nine-year NFL veteran told ESPN.com. “He’s big enough to do everything that every tackle has done in history. But the difference is, he’s highly skilled. He is the new breed of hybrid that can do it all.”

The skill that Smith references is truly what sets Williams apart as his excellent technique with his hands allows him to prevent offensive lineman from getting close to his body.

And, despite all the skill and running a 4.83-second 40-yard dash at the Combine, Williams wants to keep improving his game.

“Oh, man, I gotta improve on a lot of things … I’m definitely not perfect. I’m a one-year starter,” he said. “Once I’m in the NFL, man, I do want to get around great veterans, guys who did it at an elite level for a long time, and just learn from them, learn how to be a pro.”

We’ll see which teams he’s going to learn how to be a pro with tonight.