Background: Both of Wills parents were and are still heavily involved in sports. His father, Jedrick Wills, Sr. is an assistant women’s basketball coach and his mother, Sivi Wills, is a former highly successful basketball player at Eastern Kentucky (1984-1987). At Maysville High School, she led the lady Bulldogs in scoring for three consecutive seasons (1983-1985). As a three-year varsity starter, Wills was a part of one of the best stretches in program history at Lafayette High School (KY). He helped the program reach back-to-back state championship during his final two seasons. The anchor of an offensive front that averaged 454.8 yards and 41.8 points per game.
After heavily leaning towards staying in-state and joining Kentucky, he opted to go another route in the SEC and head south. Signing with Alabama, he became the second signee from the Bluegrass state to sign with the Tide – following in the footsteps of running back Damien Harris. Playing in 11 games as a true freshman and starting one (Ole Miss), Wills was forced to earn his stripes by starting out in a reserved role.
After showing improvements, he manned the right tackle spot for all 15 games during the 2018 season. His growth as a sophomore was evident as he led the team with only allowing one sack. Starting all 13 games during his junior season, he finished his career having started 28 consecutive contests. Wills went on to become an Associated Press second-team All-American.
Scheme Fit: Man/Power Blocking
Round Projection: Early 1st-Round
Power/Vertical Push: Wills has breath-taking blocks on film and has others that make you sit up in your chair with how much movement he’s able to generate. Other-worldly strength levels allow him to engulf and embarrass some defenders on the edge. He not only possesses a powerful initial punch, but he has the strength longevity in order to continue with it throughout the duration of reps. He’s rarely ever satisfied with stunning first blows, he has the mentality to continue with it. Wills is quick and aware of his responsibilities. Always seeming confident in the effects of plays even prior to, he shows the ability to generate a considerable amount of movement to crater crater-like holes in defensive structures. He loves to throw around his wide frame as a run blocker and add even more flavor to an already bruising attack. There’s little mercy shown on the first or second levels when given a chance.
Finishing Mindset: “He’s a dog” – that’s the first comment usually mentioned about Wills. The right tackle of the Crimson Tide attack, but he was the punisher among the group. He constantly finishes defenders and felt little remorse once seeing how effective his first blows can be. Wills drives anyone with the opposite color jersey into the turf and is in no hurry to help them up afterwards. He’s the living definition of a mauler or road grader.
Quiet Feet: He possesses excellent match and mirror ability. Wills keeps upright posture and ready hands prior to contact point arrivals in order to cancel out desited avenues that once seemed available to rushers. Strong hands and quick swats at the opposition send them falling in a moment’s notice. Active feet match his busy hands as he’s always ready to attack and react to apparent moves.
Strength Trust: Wills will often demonstrates so much respect and confidence for his strength that he sacrifices his technique as a result. Low energy and inefficient lower half becomes even worse when solely relying on the benefits of his power. It’s easy to see when he plans to take this course of action based on the tempo of his feet out of his stance. For as much of a finisher that Wills has shown to be, he can get a bit relaxed when involved in a back and forth battle. It’s clear that he’s use to so many battles ending quickly that once a part of this type of fight, it can catch him a bit off guard, which results in a brief stoppage.
Wide Base Operation: When attempting to create hard edges to bypass, his stance can become a bit wide – also to the point of where he can’t execute answer to counter moves that edge rushers execute against him. Wills plays with a much wider than shoulder width platform that creates a way too easy surface for defenders to explore multi-direction moves with little reactionary time for challenge from him.
Mental Focus: Pre-snap penalties were a frequent problem as he recorded multiple false start fouls. At times, he becomes so eager to maul opponents that he forgets the snap count and it results in him jumping prior to the snap. An easy fix and one that shouldn’t be repeated as he gets more comfortable in the offense.
There aren’t too many prospects that entered the pre-draft process with a hotter stock than Jedrick Wills. Playing only right tackle during his career with the Tide, his development went through the roof from his sophomore to junior seasons. That leap is what made evaluators highly intrigued with his skill set. A junkyard dog mentality carries over as both a run blocker and pass protector.
His awareness and savvy flow throughout all types of situations in games, but it’s his mindset that sets him apart from the others in this class. A part of a loaded offensive tackle class, Wills name is right near the top. The jury is still out on whether or not he can transition to left tackle, but at worst, he’s a day one starter that can fulfill the requirements on the right side, but he also brings added nastiness immediately to an entire unit.