Note: This scouting report was compiled by the staff of the Senior Bowl. It is reprinted here with their permission
#94 Nicholas Williams DT Samford 6034/310/5.05
Background: Nicholas will be a 23-year-old NFL rookie for the 2013 season. He was a two-way offensive and defensive lineman at Minor HS (Birmingham, AL). He then redshirted his first season at Samford in 2008. In ’09 and ’10, he primarily served as a backup, but did participate in 18 of 22 regular season games and recorded 12 total tackles.
In ’11, he became a full-time starter and registered 23 total tackles, 3 tackles-for-loss and 2 sacks. Through the first three games of the 2012 season, he has 8 total tackles and 2 sacks. He is a Public Administration major and will graduate in December.
Tapes Viewed: 2011-Auburn, 2012-Furman, West Alabama
Practice Attended: Wednesday, September 12
Summary: Nick is a two-year starter at defensive tackle for Samford. He only played one season of high school football after spending most of his athletic career in basketball. After signing with the Bulldogs, he redshirted the 2008 season and then played as a backup for two years before assuming a starting role in the 2011 season.
Essentially, 2012 is only his third year of legitimate football participation. He has a smooth-muscled frame with an athletic lower body and he carries his 310lbs very well. He has long arms and should be able to add more bulk in the future.
Nick generally aligns as a 3-technique in their 4-3 front and will use a right-handed 3-point stance on the left-side and a 4-point stance on the right-side. He is physically strong and is able to fend off blockers by locking out his arms and widening his base.
He has more strength than explosion, but part of that is because he is so raw. He appears to be more interested in “looking” and trying to recognize plays and schemes rather than cutting it loose and creating havoc. This player handles his body well athletically and is rarely on the ground.
On direct runs, he does tend to catch blocks and uses his natural strength to hold his ground. On runs away, he is agile enough to get down the LOS and seems to run easily in space.
As a pass rusher, he is capable of stunting and looping up front. He has recorded a sack in each of the first two games in 2012 when he was able to come free and pursue the QB in space. He has the tools to improve, but needs to be more violent with his hands and finish when he draws a bead on the QB.
For the NFL, he is a developmental prospect with excellent size, athletic ability and upside potential. He fits as a 4-3 DT or 3-4 DE, but not as a Nose in either scheme.
What the NFL scouts want to see in 2012: For Nick to play with more urgency, show more explosion with his hands, to turn his “flash” plays into more consistent production and to become a dominant force against Southern Conference competition.
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This story originally appeared on Nationalfootballpost.com