Scouting Report: Leonard Williams, DE, USC

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In the scouting report I mentioned Williams being slow off of the snap. Here are some plays showing that he is typically 0.5 second behind the other defensive lineman.



On passing plays, Williams does a good job of getting hands up when he recognizes it’s a passing play.


Here is one of his best play recognitions to clog the throwing lane and get the interception.

Very active and violent hands off of the bullrush to almost knock ball out of QB’s hands and to finish by getting the sack.

Another thing I noticed was that he is surprisingly light on his feet with avoiding chop blocks.

2. Run Defense

In the 3-4, a 5-tech’s job is to seal the edge and hold down the offensive tackles from getting to the linebackers on running plays. Williams is excellent at shedding blocks and breaking into the backfield to pursue runningbacks. Uses elite strength and violent hands to access the backfield.



Excellent at shooting the gap. Great fit for a 1-gap defender in a 3-4 or 4-3 Under scheme.

Here Williams is slow on the read-and-react for zone-option read plays. His edge play is fine, but he misses the runningback and often isn’t looking at the ball exchange or is slow to recognize where the ball went.


Some questioned his motor and this play here is one of my least favorite plays by Williams all season. In this play Williams is slow off of the snap and doesn’t pursue the runningback even though he could have had a clear shot if he moved laterally towards him. Instead, Williams just stands there and watches the play unfold as opposed to supporting his team.

Here on goalline plays offenses ran right at him. Due to him being 0.5 seconds behind it cost the Trojans’ defense a touchdown because he loses leverage instantly since he’s playing catch-up.


Pro Comparison and Draft Projection

Pro Comparison: Richard Seymour. Both very versatile defensive lineman who lined up all over the defensive line at 0-tech, 1-tech, 3-tech, and 5-tech during their collegiate careers. Both were highly regarded coming out of the draft, using their speed, power, and length to disrupt the trenches.
Projected Round: Top 5 Pick

Click here for all of NFL Breakdowns’ scouting reports for the 2015 class.

Samuel Gold

Sam founded NFL Breakdowns after working his way through the journalist farm system and is enjoying life in the big league. Growing up outside of Washington, D.C., Sam didn’t choose the Redskins, the Redskins chose him. Out of a love for the game and an insatiable curiosity to determine why his beloved team was underperforming, Sam turned to studying film in NFL Breakdowns.