2015 NFL Draft: Bengals’ Late Round Defensive Tackle Options

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DT Terry Williams, East Carolina

As one might imagine at 6’1″, 353 pounds, Terry Williams is a space eater and a half.  Also predictably, he projects best against the run, which becomes easy to see when watching him.  Yet, the problem for many offenses when squaring off with Williams is that you can’t simply block him with a single lineman regardless of whether you’re running or passing the ball.  Williams possesses enough athletic ability that, when left unchecked by a second blocker, he can present a threat to the quarterback.  Having the type of player who demands a double team when on the field would open things up for the Bengals’ other defenders.

As a later round selection, maybe an undrafted free agent, Williams wouldn’t likely be asked to contribute from Day One.  This would give him time to improve his strength and quickness, which would further make him an issue.  He seems to be on the cusp of presenting a consistent threat.  If he’s able to do so, can you imagine having to deal with his threat on a consistent basis while trying to account for the talented line that would be around Williams in Cincinnati?  On the goal line, trying to run through Williams and a player like Geno Atkins or Brandon Thompson would be an equally difficult task.

Williams will also need time to improve his conditioning.  A player of that size is a great opportunity for a team, but only if he can play on a consistent basis.  It’s rare to find a player who plays the majority of snaps at a Williams-type size.  The time he’ll be afforded as a later round selection will give him time to improve this aspect of his game also.

The Bengals struggled to stop the run in 2014.  It’s a huge problem in a division like the AFC North, which featured Le’Veon Bell, Justin Forsett, and the Browns’ offensive line, which can make most running backs legit.  Williams could help the team in this fashion.  But if he can’t improve both his conditioning and pass rushing prowess, he’ll present only the kind of threat the team already possesses in players like Domata Peko and Kwame Geathers.  At that point, there’s no reason for the Bengals to bring in a replacement player for either of their current commodities.

Next: Third, An Interior Lineman Who Combines Size, Motor, and Promise