I remember watching the 2009 NFL Draft and questioning the Arizona Cardinals pick of Dan Williams. Position need, yes. But was there better talent immediately available? No. Understandably we were all deflated when Denver took Tim Tebow just before Arizona got Williams, as its quarterback woes would have ended.
Looking at the next handful of picks, Arizona really did get the best available player and at a need position. But so many spectators wonder about him because he is so quiet. Any doubts or questions should be erased after I shed some light on this man.
Understand he was brought in and shaped to fit the scheme we had prior to this upcoming season. He was a plug for the quality backs in the division, names like Gore, Jackson and Lynch. Simply stated he was a defensive tackle. Heavy in weight but with quick feet and judgement he was utilized as a run-stopper. How successful was he?
Below are the top defensive tackles drafted not only with him but the year prior. I have listed career tackles with the players as I wish to focus on this area. I will address sacks shortly.
Ndamukong Suh- 137, Tyson Alualu-123, Geno Atkins-116, B.J. Raji -112, Dan Williams-102, Ziggy Hood-101, Gerald McCoy- 69, Peria Jerry- 34. Dan Williams is with some notable talent and has more tackles than many other starting tackles that were drafted a year before him. Also interesting is only Geno Atkins was drafted below the 2nd round when the Bengals sandbagged their pick and stole this stud in the 4th round.
So its obvious he has done his job. But many question the sack part of his game. Admittedly he has no sacks thus far but that wasn’t his job all 3 seasons prior. With the arrival of Todd Bowles and a new “Hybrid” scheme, Williams was asked to condition more and loose weight so he can attack the quarterback from time to time.
Williams is already a young and gifted tackle that is now in a scheme that will allow his run stop dominance to continue. Plus a frame to attack the quarterback when his name is called. His salary has been very low (Just over a million a year) and the base stays that way but he is now applicable to earn some incentive money acquiring sacks.
The Cardinals have no intentions or reasons to discard Williams as they have a high powered weapon who is faster than ever with the green light and desire to get a hold of the quarterback and earn some extra pocket change. In no way is this his last chance, instead look for a solid season and contract extension in the 2014 off-season.