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New York Jets Off the Clock: First-Round Pick Defensive Tackle Quinnen Williams, Alabama
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8 May 2019 02:27 PM EST

-by Daniel Mogollon, Staff Writer; Image: New York Jets first-round pick Quinnen Williams. (Image Source: USA TODAY Sports Images)

The New York Jets had six picks in the 2019 NFL Draft, including the third overall selection for the second-straight season. As we take the Jets “Off the Clock,” we’ll breakdown all six of their draft picks, starting with their first-round choice:

Round 1; Pick 3 (3rd Overall): DT Quinnen Williams, Alabama

NY Jets Off The Clock: Checklist: Offense | Defense |

Measurables: The Alabama man stands at 6’3” and 303 pounds which is on the short side for a defensive lineman but with more than enough bulk. He has a solid wingspan (80 ½”) but his hands (9 5/8”) aren’t very big for the position. His 4.83 40-yard dash was very impressive for a man of his size, easily the best number for a 300-pounder.

Skill Set: What made Williams so special at Alabama is not just his size, but his quickness as well. Much more than a space-eater, the Crimson Tide doesn’t just roll into the offensive backfield, he bursts through with an electric first step. In addition to his impressive athleticism, the interior lineman is very strong and stout at the point of attack. Williams can handle double-teams, is an excellent run defender who clogs up the middle, and if you leave him one-on-one he will make you pay. In the trenches, he excels at getting off blocks and is a better pass rusher than your typical tackle. Alabama’s Nick Saban raves about his hand usage, smarts, and instincts. All the skills are there.

Value: Just like Leonard Williams in 2015 and Sam Darnold last season, general manager Mike Maccagnan nabbed the man many believe was the top player in his draft class. Most evaluators had either Nick Bosa or Williams as the No. 1 prospect on their board and he was the best player available when New York’s turn to pick came around. No one can question the value. Interior linemen selected high in the draft have produced several elite defenders with a very low-bust rate.

Need: If the Jets plan on using Williams at the nose, not only did they get value but they plugged a big hole in the middle of their defense. In the offseason, they re-signed nose tackle Steve McLendon but he’s 33-years old and his best football is behind him. McLendon was brought back on a one-year deal ($2.5 million) as a stop-gap measure. Williams is an upgrade and should be the anchor of New York’s defense for years to come.

Off the Clock (Rd. 1): 1-4, 5-8, 9-14, 15-20, 21-26, 27-32 | NY Giants Checklist: Offense | Defense | 2020 Draft: No. 1 Pick Odds

Mogollon’s Pick: If I had my druthers I would have loved to trade down, get addition picks, and draft an offensive lineman. But at No. 3, Williams was too good to pass up. Take the best player on the board is a winning strategy.

Who Did They Pass Up? In desperate need for an impact edge rusher, many believed that Kentucky’s Josh Allen was the pick the Jets should have made. He could have stepped in and had an immediate impact as a pass rusher. Allen was drafted by the Jacksonville Jaguars with the seventh pick. The Oakland Raiders took another edge rusher, Clemson’s Clelin Ferrell, fourth overall ahead of Allen and one pick after New York drafted Williams.

The Fit: When the pick was made, Williams was announced as a nose tackle, which is an indication the club plans to line him up in between ends Leonard Williams and Henry Anderson. New defensive coordinator Gregg Williams’s defenses aren’t stagnant so we could see the Alabama man line up in multiple spots along the interior just as he did for Nick Saban. He’s capable of playing right over the center or cocked slightly at the nose, just inside the offensive guard, and even some three technique. Expect the Jets to mix things up.

2019 Outlook & Beyond: He’s young, just 21-years old, and he didn’t play much at Alabama until his breakout 2018 season, so maybe expectations for 2019 should be tempered. Nevertheless, don’t be surprised if he ends up unseating starter Steve McLendon sooner rather than later. The Jets expect Williams to make an impact as a rookie and develop into a core defender as they build their defense around a troika of high draft choices with safety Jamal Adams joining the Williams boys as building blocks. Pro Bowls is the expectation when you select a player with the third pick in the draft, the highest the Jets have selected a defender in the Super Bowl era.

Daniel Mogollon is a member of the Pro Football Writers of America and the Football Writers Association of America. He is also a voter for the Thorpe and the Rotary Lombardi Award, as well as the Latino Sports MVP Awards. You can reach him via email:

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