Nearly every play who gets drafted in the NFL gets to cross off a childhood dream. Not so much for Jesse Williams.
Williams, a defensive tackle from Alabama who the Seahawks drafted in the fifth round, didn’t start playing football until his late teens while living in…Australia, his native country. It was about that time he started to think seriously about a pro career.
“The thing for me is my technique,” said Williams, a 6-foot-3, 323-pound tackle whose nickname is Tha Monstar. “I’m pretty raw still. Just an athletic body. I picked up a lot of skills from Alabama and trying to progress as a football player.”
Williams is the second defensive tackle the Seahawks have taken in the draft, filling what general manager John Schneider called a hole. Seattle took Penn State defensive tackle Jordan Hill in the third round and followed that up on Friday by selecting Williams.
Hill is more of a pass-rushing option at defensive tackle while Williams is known more for his ability as a run stuffer up the middle. In fact, that’s what he identified as his greatest strength.
Williams was projected by some as being a second-round pick. He was even thought of as a first-round prospect at one point in time.
NFL.com wrote: “Williams uses his size, consistent motor and supreme toughness to drain his opponents at the point of attack.” Williams had minor knee surgery early in his career at Alabama after playing two years of junior college football at Arizona Western College. He suffered another knee injury late in his senior season but said, “I’m not limited in any sort.”
“I knew I wasn’t a solid first-round pick and I was going to have to wait a little bit,” Williams said. “I waited a little longer than expected, but I’m just happy to be with a good association and go to a good team.”
Williams, and Hill for that matter, join a crowded defensive line in Seattle: Brandon MeBane, Cliff Avril, Michael Bennett, Tony McDaniel, Red Bryant, Bruce Irvin, Clinton McDonald, Greg Scruggs, Jaye Howard.