The countdown is winding down as we get closer to declaring who has the best blend of natural talent, using that talent to produce positive on the field results and with how they project into the future of the NFL. Our next member of the list went from a mid-round pick to one of the team’s best defenders since they drafted him.
The league, and most notably players at player number four’s position, are often built much bigger than he is and much stronger than he is, but there may not be more than 10 players better than him at his position. The fourth-most talented Bill on the roster has been a mainstay of production.
DT Kyle Williams
Age: 31 (6/10/83) Height: 6’1” Weight: 303
Why he’s here:
- The Buffalo Bills hit a home run in the fifth round of the 2006 NFL Draft, because they found themselves an immediate starter, and someone that would go on to be one of their best players over the past eight seasons. As previously mentioned, Williams lacks the certain height and strength that teams look for in the prototypical defensive tackle. But he makes up for it with everything else. He has one of the quickest first steps off the snap that you’ll see in the NFL today, even initiating contact with the offensive lineman before they even react to the snap at times. He’s smart, well-read and can anticipate plays. He’s made countless plays in the backfield over the course of his career, and has also paved the way for another smaller, disruptive defensive tackle to be taken seriously (Aaron Donald, drafted 13th overall by the St. Louis Rams this year). If this were done four or five years ago, you’d be hard-pressed to find someone on the team that would rank higher than him. Due to his age, however, you can’t project him to keep up similar results for as long as the top three on the list. Regardless, Williams has been a dynamite find and one that will be missed by the team when he hangs up the cleats.
- Switching back to the 4-3 defense under new coordinator Jim Schwartz, not much changes for Williams. He’ll still be depended upon to be an aggressive, disruptive, tone-setting defensive tackle to help make the opposing quarterbacks and running backs sweat. Don’t expect his sack production (10.5 in 2013) to continue at that rate, but he’ll still have a solid season playing alongside one of the more talented defensive lines in the NFL. Since 2009 (when yours truly started covering the Bills full-time), there hasn’t been a single game where Williams failed to make his presence felt by the opposing team. Even though he’s 31, expect that trend to continue into 2014.