Eagles’ Milton Williams already impressing Javon Hargrave

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Rookie DT Williams already impressing 1 veteran teammate originally appeared on NBC Sports Philadelphia

Javon Hargrave was pretty happy on April 30, when he heard the Eagles drafted Milton Williams in the third round.

He thinks Williams will help the Eagles right away.

“I loved the pick,” Hargrave said this week. “He’s very gifted. He's got a motor and honestly he can really come in and help us. Right now, I just see from him, he’s just eager to learn.”

The Eagles drafted Williams in the third round and then Marlon Tuipulotu in the sixth to add to a group of defensive tackles that already had Hargrave, Fletcher Cox and Hassan Ridgeway.

This rotation has a real chance to be dangerous.

There’s no question that Williams has raw ability and in the few practices with the entire team together, Hargrave is already seeing that ability on the field.

“You can tell he can move and rush the passer and run,” Hargrave said. “Right now, I’m just impressed with some of his abilities and I think he’s going to fit in great with us.”

Williams switched from defensive end to defensive tackle for his last season at Louisiana Tech and it paid off. He showed his ability as a three-technique and can really play any position on the line at the NFL level. But what’s most intriguing about him is the idea that he could become a wrecking ball as an inside rusher. That’s why he ended up being a third-round pick.

In recent seasons, that’s become all the rage. Guys like Cox and Aaron Donald have transformed the way the NFL is thinking about pass rush. Because not only can interior rushers take the quarterback down, but they collapse the pocket and force QBs out quickly.

While Cox has become a potential future Hall of Famer, no one is playing the defensive tackle position at a higher level than Donald, a three-time Defensive Player of the Year. And the closest athletic comparison for Williams, according to Mockdraftable, is Donald.

Williams went into his pro day with the goal of besting Donald in all the major tests and came just a couple of bench press reps shy. He’s an athletic freak:

 

For now, the Eagles’ practices have been extremely light. During their modified offseason program, the Eagles aren’t having any competitive periods and they aren’t even wearing jerseys yet. So it’s tough to tell how much Williams will be able to help the Eagles in his rookie season from watching glorified walkthroughs in shirseys.

But his athleticism is still shining through, according to Hargrave.

“Of course. You can see it just by how guys move,” Hargrave said. “We’re out there doing bags and stuff like that. By the way he’s moving and getting around bags or just getting off the ball, it shows for itself, just in his movements.”

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