NAME: Jonah Williams
POSITION: Offensive Tackle
JERSEY: No. 73
RECRUITMENT RATING: 5-star
WT: 301 lbs
Pass Sets – Cadence is smooth, even keeled steps allow for good balance in initial pass sets. Takes effective angles in short sets, 45 degree sets and vertical pass sets to frame blocks prior to first contact effectively and shows great inside leverage to turn back counters.
Length/Extension – Arm length doesn’t meet the prototype but framing of blocks courtesy of the feet and hips allows for masking of issues in a vast majority of instances. Timing of the hands is effective and carries hands in a ready to fire posture in his pass set.
Balance –Rarely caught over-extending over-top of his base. Sustains foot width through contact to generate movement and control when driving off the ball. Pass sets are patient and plays inside out. Mechanical approach in the lower body ensures feet stay tethered to the ground.
Hand Technique –Rarely needs to work to re-establish a punch on the chest, placement is terrific. Quick to shoot from the hip and plays with a lot of strength in the upper half to twist or torque a frame at the POA and generate favorable angles to seal the lane.
Power at POA –Double team ace and tenacious against edge defenders, will produce movement and swallow up defenders now with length but with tenacious feet and precision from the hands to win reps initially. Has the functional power to handle interior defenders one on one.
Football IQ –Polished three year starter who shows wonderful technical prowess on the edge. Exposure to predominantly gap/power concepts and is an effective communicator up front to confirm double teams and pass off opportunities with his guard.
Functional Athleticism –Smooth mover. Does well to mirror on the edge, although third efforts from defenders typically break contain. Athletic ability is much more present when pressing forward or pulling out in space, light on feet and has no issues breaking down a defender and establishing fit.
Anchor Ability –Thick lower half and wide hips provide ample mass below the waist to play with power, is not a high cut athlete along the line. Knee hinge and hip drop allow for a sudden anchor if caught with a perfectly timed punch.
Flexibility –Hips are loose, has no issue with opening hips on deeper pass sets to gain depth while under control. Clean hinge as a puller or when in space to get the chest squared up to defenders and sustain control of body. Pad level and hip coil is terrific in drive block reps.
Competitive Toughness –Tough, blue collar play style. Love his ability to win with power in both pass sets and in the run game. Rarely caught getting bubbled backwards, even if caught by a longer armed defender to get inside his breastplate.
BEST TRAIT – Power at POA
WORST TRAIT – Length
BEST FILM – Clemson (2017)
WORST FILM – Georgia (2017)
RED FLAGS – None
Jonah Williams is a technically refined offensive tackle who projects most favorably into a physical offensive front. Williams’ pass protection skills would be best utilized in quicker passing schemes to protect his lack of length from being exposed on deeper pass sets, but that’s no reason to dismiss his skills as an offensive tackle and move inside to guard. Should be a rookie starter at the NFL level and provide quality play on the outside by the end of his first year.
Run Blocking – Does well to leverage his hips, uncoil, accelerate his feet, fit his hands and extend his arms to generate movement. Knows how to establish his body positioning to create lanes and take advantage of angles. Technique and power work in concert which makes him highly effective. Timing is generally precise.
Pass Blocking – Works from a consistently set base, excellent body control/posture and good foot speed to frame rushers and stay square. Has a stout anchor and absorbs power well. Can be over-aggressive in pass pro which forces him to open his hips and invite rushers through the b-gap. Lack of length does lead to him getting outreached and rushers are able to work into his frame. That said, he does well to bow his back and extend his reach.
Blocking in Space – Effective vertical blocker and connects at a high rate. Body control and angles are sound. Does well to anticipate flow and cut off pursuit. Squares up opponents and initiates contact. Light on his feet which enables him to reach landmarks in space. Timing is excellent.
Power – Illustrates both a stout anchor and the ability to move bodies in the run game. Capable of absorbing power and redirecting it. Maximizes his play strength by playing with good leverage. Grip strength when the clamps are set is impressive.
IQ – Timing and technical refinement speak to his football intelligence. Astutely takes care of the first level before releasing to the second level. Anticipates stunts and different pressure packages while possessing the reactive athletic ability and processing skills to counter. Always finds work when uncovered.
Feet – Light on his feet. Slides his feet well and easily redirects his weight. Takes good initial pass sets but must be careful to not overly commit to defending the outside track and leaving the door open inside. Keeps feet moving through contact when drive blocking.
Hands – Does well to work his hand fits through each rep. Is generally the aggressor to establish first contact. Features excellent grip strength to steer and sustain blocks once he is locked in. Is guilty of getting out-reached and opponents can work into his frame. Has good pop and timing with his punch.
Balance – Plays with consistent body control, leverage and posture. Doesn’t spend time on the ground unless he is finishing blocks. Good mobility and control working in space. Has featured the ability to re-leverage his hips and re-set his anchor.
Versatility – Has started at both right and left tackle and performed well. Projects favorably to the interior should lack of reach limit him at tackle. Impact blocker in the run game, pass protection and on the move.
BEST TRAIT – Power/Mobility
WORST TRAIT – Length
RED FLAGS – None
Williams’ balanced and smooth footwork, combined with technical refinement and excellent play strength make him an exciting prospect. While he deserves a chance to prove his lack of reach will limit him too much in the NFL, he has tremendous upside as an interior blocker. A three-year starter at Alabama, Williams has been tested against the best pass rushers college football has to offer and should be able to make an early impact in his NFL career and anchor a font five for years to come.
Pass Protection – Everything is essentially perfect for Williams in pass protection until the point of engagement. Then it’s mostly perfect, with some concerns lumped in. His ability to establish half-man off the snap is a strength, but he will struggle to maintain that relationship on a consistent basis. Can be out-maneuvered to the edge and forced into recovery mode. Long-levered power rushers are a concern, gives ground to power rushers and opens the gate to inside counters.
POA Run Blocking – Not a dominant people mover up front, but gets the job done. Fires off with good technique and finds leverage points to create the creases needed. Good footwork to get his hips around and seal off rush lanes. Excellent combo blocker who keeps his legs churning to help drive defensive lineman out of gaps. Can lean into blocks, get over-extended and whiff, allowing defenders to work over top of him. Good zone blocker who scraps to complete reach blocks, but does get outmuscled and out-athleted at times by interior defensive lineman.
Functional Strength – Doesn’t show the rotational power you’d like to see to truly control blockers at the line of scrimmage. Isn’t overpowering despite leverage and good technique. Leans on defenders to create movement and can get tossed aside by power players. Has enough to get by against most competition, but there are a few reps almost every game where he gets overpowered.
Pass Pro Footwork – Exceptional footwork to erupt out of his stance and establish half-man off the snap. First step is eye-popping. Vertical and 45-degree sets are commonly used. Outstanding body control with the ability to reach set points at will. Only issue is he’ll overreact to jab steps and allow rushers to cross his face and attack his edge.
Strike Timing/Placement – Issues sustaining contact partially stem from a lack of dominance in his hands. Doesn’t really grip up and drive opponents in the run game, often leaning into them or sealing them off with his body positioning. Good strike timing in pass protection, but gets out-reached by longer defensive lineman, which can cause him to start leaning to initiate contact as the game goes on.
Leverage – Consistently leveraged and low off the ball. Pad level and knee bend are where you want them to be as a coach. Sinks his hips in pass protection, showing impressive flexibility in his base.
Space Blocking – Terrific timing to come off of combo blocks and target second level defenders. Understands angles and positioning to cut off pursuit angles for opponents. Can get over-extended at times, but generally latches and drives to eliminate defenders in space. Arrives with pop and creates movement when he hits square. They don’t pull him a lot, but he can do it well when asked to. Clean footwork. Can struggle to adjust to moving targets on the fly.
Competitive Toughness – Elite competitive toughness and work ethic. Not a mauler, but consistently gets after opponents and has spurts of eye-popping aggression. Outstanding football and personal character that will be important to an NFL locker room.
Mental Processing – Elite mental processing to pick up twists, recognize late pressure, react to shifts in defensive fronts, etc. Has been left out to dry by teammates more than a few times, yet still manages to find a way to do his job at a high level. One of the sharpest players in the entire 2019 class from the neck up.
Athleticism/Size – Movement skills are very functional and size is more than adequate for the position. Does lack length and long-levered defenders give him issues on tape as a result. Will be a legit concern to monitor moving forward.
BEST TRAIT – Pass Pro Footwork
WORST TRAIT – Functional Strength/Length
RED FLAGS – None
Long billed as the top offensive tackle in the 2019 class, Jonah Williams tape is one of the tougher evaluations in this year’s draft. He doesn’t give up many sacks and his footwork is among the best I’ve ever scouted, but his traits do leave something to be desired in certain matchups.
Williams consistently gave up ground and was unable to sustain blocks against powerful, long-levered defensive linemen, and struggled to recover on jab steps and inside counters in pass protection. His lack of length and strength is a legitimate concern for his translation to the NFL, but I don’t know that a move inside is the solution that many have suggested it is.
Instead, Williams should be given the opportunity to make it in the NFL at offensive tackle, with the understanding that he might not have the ceiling of an elite pass protector at the next level. He’s clearly good, but can he be a great NFL tackle? His skill set should translate quickly into an immediate starter, but I don’t see his ceiling as on par with Joe Thomas, to whom he’s often compared.