IMAGE: FROM CINCINNATI BENGALS
The Cincinnati Bengals may not have made much of their fan base happy by passing on taking a quarterback. However, why you look at the selection of offensive tackle Jonah Williams, you have to really like the potential the former Alabama offensive lineman brings to the field.
While born and raised in Georgia, Williams moved to California in ninth grade becoming a top five-star prospect at Folsom High School. With an impressive offer list, Williams picked Alabama over Auburn and even earned an offer from the University of Cincinnati. Enrolled early at Alabama taking part in spring drills.
Williams is not just a big offensive lineman resting on his physical skills. Leaving high school early, Williams used that time to learn what he needed to do to get on the field with it paying off by earning the starting job at right tackle as a true freshman. Considered a film junkie, Williams would move to the left side of the line his sophomore year earning All-American honors from the AFCA (second-team) and Associated Press (third-team) along with first team All-SEC honors.
His final season at Alabama, Williams was an Outland Trophy and Lombardi Award finalist. He also started every game of his Alabama career with 44 consecutive starts as the Tide remained one of the top programs in all of college football.
Williams was solid at the NFL Combine earning a grade that projected him as becoming an instant starter in the league. Solid in technique, Williams is still young and should continue to develop physically as he still had a year left in college.
Some had one or two others ranked higher than Williams as an NFL prospect at left tackle. While not a road grader, Williams is a very solid run-blocker using his athletic ability to reach second level defenders along with taking proper angles and using technique. But what makes him special is his solid technique in pass-protection with his great hand placement, footwork and movement. Williams should shore up any issues in protecting Andy Dalton’s blind side. On film, Williams plays a lot like former Cleveland Browns left tackle Joe Thomas. While not as tall, he shows all the same physical abilities as the future Hall of Famer.