Eagles’ Milton Williams ready to learn from Fletcher Cox

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Dave Zangaro
·3 min read
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Athletic freak Milton Williams ready to learn from Fletcher Cox originally appeared on NBC Sports Philadelphia

If there were any questions about Milton Williams’ athleticism heading into the Louisiana Tech pro day on March 18, he answered them emphatically.

He crushed it.

And he knew he would.

“Definitely,” Williams said on Friday night. “That was one of the reasons I decided to come out this year, because I knew I was going to be one of the most athletic defensive tackles in the draft class.”

There’s no doubt about that.

While a peek into the Eagles’ war room on Friday night stole headlines because of a disagreement on the trade back and the pick, don’t lose sight of the player the Eagles got at No. 73. Because Williams is an athletic freak with a crazy-high ceiling.

And he’s really looking forward to learning from an Eagles’ great to refine his craft.

When asked about the NFL defensive linemen he watches and tries to emulate, Williams listed some of the best: Aaron Donald, J.J. Watt, Myles Garrett and, of course, his new teammate Fletcher Cox.

Williams thinks he’s a very good run defender and a pass rusher. For now, his favorite pass rush move is the stab-club, although he thinks he’s just scratching the surface.

“But coming to the Eagles, like I said, lining up with guys like Fletcher Cox,” Williams said, “hoping to widen that arsenal a little bit.”

You may take all these pro day numbers with a grain of salt — and maybe you should — but they’re absolutely eye-popping for Williams at 6-3, 284 pounds. Even compared to the other pro day numbers from this pre-draft process.

While his weight puts him in just the 6th percentile among defensive tackles, he demolished every test put in front of him on March 18.

How impressive are those numbers? 

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Williams said he did a mock pro day at the training facility Exos before his actual pro day to get an idea of what numbers he’d put up. And then on March 18, he did even better.

That’s part of the reason why Williams decided to skip his senior season and enter the draft after a very good 2020 campaign. In 10 games, he had 44 tackles, 10 TFLs and 4 1/2 sacks.

In what isn’t considered to be the best overall defensive tackle class, Williams was the fourth DT taken after Christian Barmore (2-38), Levi Onwuzurike (2-41) and Alim McNeill (3-72), who went one spot before him.

Williams said on Friday night that early in his career he envisions playing on the edge on early downs and moving inside on passing downs. After playing in a few different schemes in college, Williams feels like he has the added benefit of versatility.

There’s a ton of upside to love about Williams and he’s ready to get better.

“At the end of the day, Milton Williams is an exciting player for our football team,” GM Howie Roseman said. “We’re excited to have him. You know, I don't want to take away from his day, but we're all excited about that pick.”

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