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Quinnen Williams 2019 NFL Draft profile: The monster in the middle the Arizona Cardinals need

NCAA Football: College Football Playoff National Championship-Clemson vs Alabama Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports

Quinnen Williams – defensive lineman
Alabama - Redshirt Sophomore
6’3’’, 303 Pounds

I haven’t seen such a force through the middle for a while, Williams first year starting was that dominant. The ‘Bama defense has always been loaded; they are one of the few programs in the country that have multiple 5 star recruits all along their defensive line.

Top 3 games:


My favorite game film comes from his day against Georgia for the SEC championship. He slides down the line and locates the ball at a high level already.

In that game film, he was able to flip his hips on a couple of plays, and turned around pro prospect Lamont Gaillard a few times. He had 2 TFLs and a sack in a comeback win. It was his play along the line of scrimmage that helped the Tide defense control the second half of the game.


You look at his second most impressive game, you see him work the inside very well. You see him growing as a player, he’s not allowing guys to hang on him, and is starting to learn some hand fighting.

He was dominant, considering they were rotating him towards the end of the third quarter. He had 7 tackles, 2 TFLs, and a sack.


This is his breakout game, but this is when trash talking ended in a shutout by the tide. Alabama destroyed them in a few facets, but holding the Tigers to 12 yards rushing was incredible.

Quinnen did something that put him in the top-5 discussion that game. He had 10 tackles, 3 TFLs, and 2.5 sacks. He wore the interior down, shut down run lanes, and put his hands up for knockdowns.

This year, he finished with 71 total tackles, 19.5 TFLs, and 8 sacks. He proved to be a very versatile guy who loves to stuff the carrier. That 19.5 is highly impressive, reminds me of the run stuffing of J.J. Watt.

But problems do exist if you do consider Quinnen for the first pick.

Problem 1: The Talent Around Alabama

Since 2014, the Alabama crimson tide have had multiple defenders drafted in the first three rounds, and this year is no different. Exactly 15 defensive players have been selected in the first three rounds of the NFL Draft.

2018: Minkah Fitzpatrick, FS, 11. Da’Ron Payne, DT, 13. Rashaan Evans, ILB, 22. Ronnie Harrison, SS, 93.

2017: Marlon Humphrey, CB, 16. Jonathan Allen, DE, 17. Reuben Foster, ILB, 31. Dalvin Tomlinson, DT, 55. Tim Williams, OLB, 78.

2016: A’Shawn Robinson, DT, 46. Jarran Reed, DT, 49. Cyrus Jones, CB, 60.

2015: Landon Collins, SS, 33.

2014: C.J. Mosley, ILB, 17. HaHa Clinton-Dix, SS, 21.

As you can tell, they never miss a draft. We talked about the talent, but let’s dive in further. Since 2014, it seems like most of the talent coming from Alabama is a part of the 3-4 alignment. That’s totally fine when considering the Cardinals are changing their scheme.

It seems like the tide usually have two good corners, three very disciplined lineman who can be gap penetrators, outside linebackers who can rush, inside linebackers who can cover the middle of the field or tight ends, and safeties who free roam.

This year, the crimson tide boast a few options from their current defense.

  • Isaiah Buggs - Defensive End
  • Projected: 4th Round

  • Christian Miller - Outside Linebacker
  • Projected: 6th Round

  • Mack Wilson - Inside Linebacker
  • Projected: 1st-2nd Round

  • Saivion Smith - Cornerback
  • Projected: 4th Round

  • Deionte Thompson - Free Safety
  • Projected: 2nd Round

No one is going to blow you away quite like Quinnen Williams, he’s a physical player who is almost unmatched by any in this draft. Still, Mack Wilson and Deionte Thompson could be day 2 picks.

It could be the talent around him. Being able to stabilize one-on-one situations could be why Q was so dominant last year.

Problem 2: One Year of Production:

In college football, it’s recommended (or mandatory) to have three years of college before you can enter the NFL draft. That’s not on accident, the NFL is not like the NBA (able to leave after one year of college), MLB or NHL (straight out of high school).

Williams was stuck behind talented rotation of players like Payne and Allen when he came into Alabama, but when it was his turn he produced. The question is how much did he out produce his predecessors?

When you compare Allen and Williams, Allen put up the same type of numbers for two years in Alabama:

Jr Year: 36 tackles 14.5 tackles for loss 12 sacks

Sr Year: 69 tackles 16 tackles for loss 10.5 sacks

Williams play surpassed Allen and Payne, but both were taken in the middle of round one. Was Williams that much more dominant in his single season?

Problem 3: Where does he fit?

When you look at Quinnen, he has the build and profile of a defensive end, although he is an inch shorter and seven pounds heavier than his Alabama listed measurements.

Yet, he profiles as an interior rusher type on passing downs.

The most successful 1-techniques in the NFL are Kenny Clark of the Green Bay Packers, Javon Hargrave of the Pittsburgh Steelers, and rookie Da’Ron Payne of Washington Redskins.

Kenny Clark has been consistent since coming from UCLA, he can lean on being both finesse and powerful, and it shows on Sunday’s. He had a great year in 2018, 55 total tackles, 8 TFLs, and 6.5 sacks.

The difference between Kenny Clark and Javon Hargrave isn’t huge. Both play the run very well with good penetration, they have different body types, and sometimes can get their mitts on the ball. Hargrave finished the year with 49 total tackles, 6 TFLs, and 6.5 sacks.

Last year, Da’Ron Payne played great for the Redskins, like a guy who’s molded perfectly for what the Redskins want to do. Great penetrator also. 56 total tackles, 6 TFLs, and 5 sacks.

I think Quinnen could be better than these as he’s much more athletic on tape, and it shows in the way he plays.


The Cardinals have the first pick, if Quinnen is the guy they believe can fit in their 3-4 scheme, then you have to grab him. However, if he’s an interior type player, it would be a big shift in NFL philosophy to take at one, the last defensive tackle taken first was Dan Wilkinson in 1994. Ndamukong Suh was taken second in 2010.

Will the Cardinals buck the trend with Williams?