4. Leonard Williams, defensive line (Giants)
The San Francisco 49ers had the Kansas City Chiefs on the ropes.
If only they could have put things away offensively, they were merely minutes away from closing out a Super Bowl victory and part of their ability to keep Kansas City on the ropes was the play of their versatile, athletic defensive front.
The Broncos could be losing two starters up front in Derek Wolfe and Shelby Harris. If their price range dictates they get signed by other teams, so be it. The Broncos will have opportunities to possibly upgrade in free agency this year, and I think Leonard Williams (and DJ Reader, for that matter) present opportunities to upgrade.
Williams was traded by the Jets last year, but I am not sure the Jets know what they’re doing unless Williams is a basket-case.
The former first-round pick out of USC has played all but one game in his five years in the NFL, and has averaged 20 quarterback hits per season.
That would put him up there with some of the best defensive linemen in the NFL in terms of getting to the quarterback at least once a game, if not more.
He hasn’t always had high sack numbers, even for a 3-4 defensive end, but Williams’ pass rush productivity is undeniable and he’s definitely a strong run defender.
He’s also only going to be 26 this season.