This is the first “Showdown Spotlight” involving two defensive players. These two might be two of the most talked about EDGE players in the entire draft after Myles Garrett. One is coming out of Alabama in Tim Williams who was on one of the best defenses of all time, the other in Takkarist McKinley is coming out of UCLA who had a massively underwhelming year. If you don’t know much about either you would instantly assume that Tim Williams is far and above some guy who played at UCLA, this may not actually be the case. Don`t get suck on Alabama and get fooled in thinking that only elite players are on elite teams, just think at some of the busts Alabama has had in Dee Milliner and Trent Richardson, you could also make a solid argument for Eddie Lacy.
Both of these players are over 250lbs and amassed over 15 sacks while in college.
Tim Williams Takkarist McKinley
Height: 6 feet 4 inches Height: 6 feet 2 inches
Weight:254 lbs Weight: 250 lbs
Est. 40-yard-dash: 4.76 Est. 40-yard-dash: 4.58
Sacks: 20 Sacks: 16
Tackles : 57 Tackles: 99
Tackles for Loss: 30 Tackles for Loss: 28
Passes defensed: 3 Passes defensed: 10
Forced Fumbles: 2 Forced Fumbles: 6
Best game: 2016- W 5 tackles, 2 tackles for loss, 1.5 sacks Best game: 2016- L 6 tackles, 5 tackles for loss, 3 sacks, 2 PD, 2 FF, 1 FR
Games played: 34 Games played: 28
Well this turned out really close between the two as Tim Williams took 5 categories and Takkarist McKinley took 5 as well, his best game was far and above Tim Williams`s best game. Though you might be able to chalk that up to Tim being surrounded by several first round picks and some that might be in the top-15 of this years and next years draft.
What makes this comparison even more interesting is even though they are about the same height and weight according tohttp://www.sports-reference.com/cfb/ , Takkarist is much quicker and played most of his time at DE where as Tim was almost exclusively an LB.
Tim Williams had much of his stats stripped of him by other players he has played with recently such as Reggie Ragland, Reuben Foster, and Jon Allen. All of which were or will be top-25 picks in the NFL draft. Its hard not to instantly like an Alabama Linebacker as they have had so much success at the next level with guys like CJ Mosley, Courtney Upshaw, and Dont`a Hightower. All-in-all there are 55 Alabama players currently in the NFL on 26 different teams which is no small feat. They clearly know what they are doing down there in Tuscaloosa and their college record and NFL type talents have shown this to be true.
However Tim Williams does come with quite a few red flags such as apparently “multiple failed drug tests” and his inability to bend around OT.
Either way Tim Williams was quite productive and one of the better players this year in college as he averaged almost 2 tackles, almost 1 tackle for loss and .5 sacks per game over his career. Tim has a serious issue about bending around OL as he is trying to get the edge. He must have super tight hips and not have the quick step to get the edge. Which makes for an interesting choice to put him at OLB if he cant seal and edge and be a proper blitzing linebacker in a 3-4 scheme. He would rather go head up 10/10 times than swim past or bend under and OT. While he has a severe issue with that he is one of the strongest LB I have seen go head-to-head with an OT if he gets leverage he is fast off the block or he will knock the OT all the way back and get to the QB. I also noticed while he does have good instincts in pass coverage he has a lack of aggression in the run game. He waits too long to take that first step down hill and charge hard at the RB. When he does get his hands on you, he will bring anyone he wants to to the ground.
Tim seems to be the spitting image of an elite physical athlete who relies only on his physical strength and speed vs any sort of actual technique or mechanics, which could spell trouble in the draft. If he cant show teams he can bend at the combine or is anything slower than a 4.55 he may slide easily into the late-2nd. Match that with his off-field troubles Tim might be one of the biggest slides we have seen in may years, after he was pretty much locked in to a top-10 slot. While he was a LB in college, if he cant fix the bend I see little chance he stays at OLB. I could see him slide into ILB or gain weight and end up a solid 4-3 DE with his size and length.
Takkarist has a super fast first step when he is standing up and should be used as an OLB at the next level with out question.
While he can have some issue coming off the line as a DE getting to the QB he does one great job at moving the OT back to the QB and sealing off that side of the OL. He has great instincts to the ball and getting to the QB with some vicious hand fighting and his speed is almost unmatched when he is standing up. I think he could be one of the more under rated guys in this draft. While I think he does have some things he could work on, one being getting better leverage to move inside, sometimes he has a habit of getting the leverage but not getting off the block, and also when his hips are parallel to the QB he rarely spins back inside. His natural born traits I think are close to what Tim Williams has but he has better technique has an OLB or DE than Tim currently does.
He had some big issues working against Stanford this year, but in other games he looked like he was clearly the best defender on either side of the ball.
Takkarist`s motor might be the best in this class he aggressively fights every play to tackle the RB, or get to the QB. One play he missed the QB and got him on the second try, but showed instant frustration with the fact he missed him the first time.
It seems though where Tim Williams has issues Takkarist does not, while my write up was a bit longer on Tim most of it was sort of explaining why there is so much hype. The college attached to Tim and the status of the defense seem to be more powerful than his tape or his own stats. Takkarist to me is the better option, he can be either an 4-3 DE or an 3-4 OLB. Where I think he can thrive most is OLB, I think Tim needs to slide inside or end up on the DL with his hand in the ground and use his quick first step and upper-body power to over-power the OT since he clearly has an issue going around the outside. The utility of Takkarist will light up many teams the father he falls down the board, since there was some games where he disappeared entirely.
Both of these players are good, but I would take Takkarist McKinley over Tim Williams, there are to many things I don’t really like about Tim`s play and his off-field issues are a major concern. However, with Tim`s raw ability if he can learn to bend and get quicker in the run game he will have a better career and I think he still has a higher ceiling.
Tim Williams comparison: Whitney Mercilus
Draft Projection: 4th to Jaguars (this will change next mock), Highest 4th to Jaguars, Lowest 33rd to Browns
Best Fits: Cleveland, Jaguars, Steelers, Raiders and Bills
Takkarist McKinley comparison: Cameron Wake
Draft Projection: 13th to Cardinals, Highest 7 to Chargers, Lowest 32nd to Patriots
Best Fits: Chargers, Eagles, Cardinals, Patriots, Buccaneers, Jets and Jaguars