Thursday, January 27, 2011

Player Profile: Brandon Williams

Brandon Williams
Position: Outside Linebacker
Size: 6'2, 254
Age: 22, 6/21/88
College: Texas Tech
Drafted: Round 4, #120 - 2009
Experience: 2 Seasons

Salary History and Contract Status: 7/27/2009: Signed a four-year contract. 2010: $320,000, 2011: $405,000, 2012: $565,000, 2013: Restricted Free Agent

2009 Draft Profile From OurLads: (ranked 20th best DE) Brandon Williams - Texas Tech - 6'2, 261, 4.96 - Junior entry. Two-year starter. Good athlete. Shorter and slower than ideal for the position. Plays on his feet. Lacks both upper and lower body strength. Gets wired to the blocker. Marginal use of hands. Tries to bull rush. Lacks a bag of tricks to use to get to the QB. Runs up the field and turns the play inside. Gets stuck on his spin move. Productive with 15 1/2 tackles for loss and 13 sacks as a junior, but needs more fundamental work if he is going to make a team. Developmental type player. The Cotton Bowl game versus Mississippi gives a window into what Williams will be up against on Sundays when he battled Michael Oher. Did not lift at the Combine - had a right hand injury. Seventh Round/Free Agent

Pre-2010:In 2009, the Cowboys drafted a number of potential edge rushers, with 2 in the 4th round who were both conversion 4-3 DEs as they tried to flip them into 3-4 OLBs. The trouble for Brandon Williams (one of 4 players with the last name of Williams on the roster) is that he gave up a lot of room to Victor Butler for the #3 OLB job behind DeMarcus Ware and Anthony Spencer when Williams blew out his knee in the 2009 preseason. His torn ACL in his left knee caused him to miss everything during his rookie season in 2009.

2010: Like many on the defense who are not starters, it is very difficult to break into the lineup because there were almost no injuries on the unit (something that could be considered even more disconcerting if you consider some of the defense's shortcomings). Brandon was inactive on Sunday until the Monday Night game in Week 7 against the New York Giants when he made his NFL debut with 10 snaps in garbage time. He was inactive in 10 of the first 12 games and played a total of only 30 plays as Butler took pretty much all of the minimal work for a reserve Outside Linebacker on this squad. He did make 3 tackles against Washington in Week 15, but, any impact he made was on coverage units on special teams.

2011 Analysis: Certainly one of many players who are on the very fringe of the roster, this is not the career path you would like for a 4th Round pick. Nevertheless, we could see a much improved version of Williams in 2011 given his recovery on his torn ACL should be completely back. Can he offer some depth in 2011 and help put more pressure on the QB? That would likely be considered a bit of a long shot, but perhaps he can remain on the roster through the always present need for dependable players on the special teams. Certainly a player to follow in training camp, but his place is anything but assured for Week 1 in the new season.

Previous Profiles:
Doug Free
Marc Colombo
Sam Young
Alex Barron
DeMarcus Ware
Anthony Spencer
Victor Butler

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