As the Jets get close to training camp, I am examining the roster and giving you my top 25 players. Each weekday, we will reveal another person on the list, leading right into camp. I am not including rookies on this list because I do not feel it is possible to fully evaluate them before they play a game.
No. 13: Quinnen Williams
Last year’s ranking: Unranked (rookie)
Age on Opening Day: 22
How acquired: Selected in the first round of the 2019 Draft.
Years left on contract: 3 (plus a club option)
2020 Salary Cap figure: $7.5 million
Looking back at 2019
The spotlight was on Williams after the Jets took him No. 3 overall in 2019. His rookie season was not bad, it just was not as impactful as you would hope from someone drafted that early.
Williams played in 13 games, missing time with a high-ankle sprain and a neck injury. He started nine games for the Jets. He had 28 tackles, 2 ½ sacks, one fumble recovery, four tackles for loss and six quarterback hits.
The Jets coaches praised Williams for his versatility and ability to learn several different positions along the line. Williams was strong against the run. He just did not make many impact plays that stood out.
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Part of the problem for Williams came when he suffered the high-ankle sprain in the Jets’ Week 1 game against the Bills. He missed two games but the injury lingered. Defensive coordinator Gregg Williams recently said fans and media were unaware of how severe the sprain was.
Williams was the 55th graded interior defender by PFF among the 118 who qualified. He was 33rd in run defense and 75h in pass rushing. Williams recorded 14 stops (losses for the offense) and only missed two tackles.
Williams played 46 percent of the defensive snaps, partly due to injuries but also because of Gregg Williams’ desire to rotate defensive linemen.
Outlook for 2020
The Jets expect big things from Williams in Year 2. All indications are he has had a strong offseason in the weight room and in the virtual meetings. Williams has been working to add muscle.
He should be a major part of the Jets defense this season and his playing time should rise even if he is part of a rotation. The Jets feel like he is just scratching the surface of what he can do.
“The other thing with Quinnen is he’s so young still [22 years old],” Gregg Williams said last month. “He really only had one season of getting a lot of playing time at Alabama before he came here. … He’s a sharp young man. He’s a proud young man. He’s had a very, very good offseason with how he’s trained what he’s doing to get better. I can’t wait to get back with him.”
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