- 6'3", 327 pounds
Dan Williams is a huge, strong guy with a low center of gravity who can really clog up the middle of the line of scrimmage. He's fairly versatile as well, though, as he's often seen far away from his starting point when the play ends, whether that's along one of the sidelines chasing a scrambling quarterback or a screening receiver or 15 yards down field recovering a fumble.
After redshirting in 2005 and playing sparingly in 2006, Williams played in every game from 2007 through 2009. Vol fans will forever remember Williams' 2007 season for the game-saving blocked field goal in the incredible four-overtime win against Kentucky, a moment that Vol fans voted as the best play of that season:
Williams improved in 2008 and then, in 2009, under the tutelage of defensive line guru Ed Orgeron, simply tore it up, compiling 70 tackles (36 solo), three sacks (two solo), and nine quarterback hurries:
- Williams obviously doesn't have the star power (or the stats) of Nebraska's Ndamukong Suh.
- Weight could be a potential problem; he reported in 2005 at 360 pounds. However, he lost 30-40 pounds pretty quickly and mostly kept it off through his playing days at Tennessee, so he appears to have the discipline required to stay at a more reasonable weight for defensive tackles.
Non-football endearing/charming/interesting thing
Williams, a happy, soft-spoken guy off the field, is from Memphis, and he's had to endure much disdain from the hometown folks about his choice to attend and play for Tennessee. Right after he committed to Rocky Top, some Memphis lady stopped her car in front of him at an intersection and refused to move when the light turned green until Williams finally confronted her and asked what the problem was. The lady told him that he'd "just made the dumbest decision of [his] life" before driving away. No word on whether it was Leigh Anne Tuohy.
Most mock drafts have Williams going somewhere in the lower teens overall, which seems about right. A year ago, I would have said that that was too high, but Williams really improved his draft stock with a year under Ed Orgeron and Monte Kiffin.