While there is plenty of debate over who the Cardinals will take in the first round of the 2011 draft, the hope is that the first pick of the 2010 draft — nose tackle Dan Williams — will develop into the anchor of the 3-4 front the Cards so desperately need. And there’s at least one place that seems bullish on that possibility after what Williams showed as a rookie.
ProFootballFocus.com posted an article naming Williams one of their “secret superstars,” saying Williams actually had a quietly impressive rookie season based on limited playing time and effectiveness against quality competition. One quote from the article: “He has a fantastic ability to beat centers en route to making plays on the ball carrier. That skill earned him 22 defensive stops – only John Henderson finished with more while playing fewer snaps.” Another comment: “he ended with the 11th-highest run-stopping grade of all defensive tackles, and 4th-best among 3-4 nose tackles. Quite remarkable, especially given he only played 387 snaps.”
Obviously a first-round pick is counted upon to be a solid starter — if not a star — sooner rather than later. The Cards should end up with Calais Campbell and Darnell Dockett flanking Williams in new defensive coordinator Ray Horton’s first version of his Arizona 3-4. Williams did play well near the end of the season. He still has work to do with consistency and he will still be learning, but statistically, it sounds like Williams had a decent beginning to his career.
Tags: Calais Campbell, Dan Williams, Darnell Dockett
Posted in Blog | 39 Comments »