NFL Draft 2013 Seahawks sleepers: DT/DE Nick Williams, Samford

The "Seahawks Sleepers" series is a flurry of quick scouting reports on some players that I've identified as potential targets for Seattle. My goal with this series is to highlight a few players that John Schneider, Pete Carroll and their scouting team might be interested in, and to give a brief synopsis as to why. For the most part, I'm high on the guys that I'll be pointing out - and I'll be monitoring them during the Draft and in Rookie Free Agency. Also, for the most part, these are mid- to later-round prospects, because let's be honest, you're probably sick of reading about first- and second-round type guys.

DE/DT Nick Williams, Samford - 6'4, 309

Nick Williams is an interesting Red Bryant-type prospect. Played defensive end and defensive tackle for small-school Samford and was a Combine invite. He blew it up there, running a 4.94 40, benching 225 28 times, registering a 33" vert and he measured out in Seahawky range with 34 1/8" arms and 10 1/4" hands. He apparently ran even faster at his pro day.

There's not much to speak of in tape on the guy, but his physical attributes are enough to pique my interest. He's generating some buzz of late too. Speaking plainly, the Seahawks seem to like tall, big guys that can move well- and Williams fits that profile and then some.

He's a late-round (7th) or UDFA type of prospect, reportedly.

Why Seattle?

The Seahawks take their small-school scouting seriously and have even used several of their ever-valuable draft picks on low-profile small-school or lower division players. Nick Williams isn't getting much hype but he had 7 sacks and 31 tackles as a senior and projects as a versatile inside/outside defensive lineman.

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Senior Bowl Director and former NFL scout and executive Phil Savage offers the following scouting report on Williams:

Essentially, 2012 is only his third year of legitimate football participation. He has a smooth-muscled frame with an athletic lower body and he carries his 310lbs very well. He has long arms and should be able to add more bulk in the future.

Nick generally aligns as a 3-technique in their 4-3 front and will use a right-handed 3-point stance on the left-side and a 4-point stance on the right-side. He is physically strong and is able to fend off blockers by locking out his arms and widening his base. He has more strength than explosion, but part of that is because he is so raw. He appears to be more interested in "looking" and trying to recognize plays and schemes rather than cutting it loose and creating havoc. This player handles his body well athletically and is rarely on the ground.

On direct runs, he does tend to catch blocks and uses his natural strength to hold his ground. On runs away, he is agile enough to get down the LOS and seems to run easily in space. As a pass rusher, he is capable of stunting and looping up front and has recorded a sack in each of the first two games in 2012 when he came free and pursued the QB in space. He has the tools to improve, but needs to be more violent with his hands and finish when he draws a bead on the QB.

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