LB AVERY WILLIAMSON, KENTUCKY

6’1” – 246 lbs. – 4.66

POSITIVES:

  • Possesses an adequate combination of height and bulk; also has long 32 ¾” arms.
  • On tape, looks a bit thinner than his Combine weight, but proved he could carry it.
  • Patient with his reads; generally solid gap discipline, pursuit angles versus the run.
  • Solid technique tackler who wraps and continues driving his feet; avoids risky hits.
  • Looks good versus blockers; some pop on contact, avoids being knocked around.
  • When engaged, is able to anchor and use his long arms to make tackles off blocks.
  • Comfortable making zone coverage drops, riding backs/tight ends through zone.
  • Has some experience covering in the slot, looks capable versus short/intermediate.
  • High-motor player who gives great effort, often pursues plays out to the sidelines.
  • Tough; played through a hand injury which required a cast during the 2013 season.

NEGATIVES:

  • Will need to continue filling out frame to hold up on the inside of a 3-4 defense.
  • Lacks the consistent strength to stop opposing runners in their tracks on contact.
  • More explosive in short area than fast in straight line; doesn’t match timed speed.
  • Occasionally ends up overrunning his gap and being sealed out of the play vs. run.
  • Can get a bit too aggressive at times and commit to run against play-action passes.
  • Tools make him look like a possible 4-3 “Sam” ‘backer, but lacks ideal size/bulk.
  • Wasn’t asked to blitz with much frequency, didn’t look particularly good doing it.

SUMMARY:

An athletic, downhill linebacker who looks thin on tape but who weighed in at a respectable 246 pounds at the Combine, with impressive workouts at that weight, Williamson likely solidified a place on the third day of this year’s draft. Although he is an aggressive, physical downhill player whose ability to jolt blockers on contact and impressive hand-use allows him to disengage from blocks well, he is probably best suited inside in a 4-3 defense rather than a 3-4, although he does have the frame to bulk up to 255 pounds or so. In coverage, he usually made spot-drops, but has some experience in the slot; while he’s not quite as rangy there as his timed speed would indicate, he does look comfortable and reasonably technically-sound with his footwork and balance. With some work in the weight room, Williamson could become a solid contributor.

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