DT Raequan Williams, Michigan St.

6’4” – 308 lbs. – 5.04

Redshirted, then started three of eleven games the following season, going 28-5.0-2.0. Finished his career with 42 straight starts at nose tackle, resulting in lines of 31-6.0-2.5 as a sophomore, 50-10.5-2.0 as a junior, and 48-7.5-5.0 as a senior. Well-built for a pro defensive lineman, with an excellent combination of height and bulk; overall length is at least adequate. Capable of playing either the zero-technique or the one-technique nose tackle positions.

Solid run defender with a gritty, lunchpail approach. Has impressive quickness off the snap for a player of his size, flashing the ability to use swim moves to create disruption. However, tends to go with a more traditional two-gap approach. Fires out low, gets good extension with his arms, and keeps his legs churning after contact to reset the line of scrimmage; able to walk back opposing centers and create congestion, something which caused opposing offenses to double-team him at times. Able to dig in and hold the point of attack, with decent balance. Has a lot of power in his hands to shed blocks, as well as a solid tackling radius to bring down ballcarriers. Impressive ability to anticipate the play direction. Does a good job of scraping down the line and flowing toward the play direction, although his overall athleticism in space is just average.

Tended to stay on the field on passing downs and enjoyed some success in that capacity last year. Goes with a pretty straightforward power approach most of the time, using his bull rush to try and prevent the quarterback from being able to step up in the pocket. However, does flash the ability to penetrate, and possesses pretty good closing burst for a player of his size, although he may struggle to seal the deal against quarterbacks who flee the pocket.

One of the sleeper candidates in this year’s draft class. Typically projected as more of a mid-to-late-round pick, and while it’s true that he’s not one of the most fearsome interior rushers available, he comes with pro-ready size and power straight away, doing a good job of flowing toward the ball as a two-gap defender. Consequently, looks like a good bet to work his way into a defensive line rotation for a team that prefers a tough, disciplined approach over one based on penetration. Could conceivably play the nose in either front, or the five-technique end spot on an odd line.

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