Brandon Williams quietly having a breakout season with Ravens


Sep 13, 2015; Denver, CO, USA; Baltimore Ravens nose tackle Brandon Williams (98) hurries Denver Broncos quarterback Peyton Manning (18) in the fourth quarter at Sports Authority Field at Mile High. The Broncos defeated the Ravens 19-13. Mandatory Credit: Ron Chenoy-USA TODAY Sports

It isn’t often in the NFL that a player simply dominates without receiving a lot of attention.  Fans tend to worship the elite stars in the sport that we love so much, placing them on a pedestal and buying jerseys by the thousands.

Every once in a while, however, a budding superstar slips through the cracks.  These underrated players are often guys who don’t rack up stats or give the press headline worthy quotes.  They simply go out on the field and put in work.

Baltimore Ravens defensive tackle Brandon Williams is one such player.  A virtual unknown outside of Baltimore, Williams has quietly emerged as one of the NFL’s premier players at his position over the last two seasons.

Williams didn’t even play a full 16 game season until 2014.  The Ravens expressed early on their supreme confidence in the young mountain of a man, which was on full display when they let franchise stalwart Haloti Ngata go in a trade to the Detroit Lions.

Brandon Williams has rewarded them by making an even bigger impact through 4 games this season than he did last season.  Currently ranked as the 3rd best 3-4 defensive tackle/nose tackle by Pro Football Focus, Williams has outplayed some pretty big names.

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The biggest of which are $115 million dollar man Ndamukong Suh (6th), his former teammate Ngata (33rd), and veteran Vince Wilfork (33rd).  Williams has been an absolute force against the run, ranking as the best run blocking tackle in the NFL.

The continued success of Brandon Williams is a big part of the reason why the Ravens have been able to retain their strong run defense from last season, with only one runner gaining over 100 yards against them in the last 29 games (which was Le’Veon Bell on Thursday night).

At the age of 26, Williams figures to be the anchor of the Ravens defense for years to come.  What we don’t know is how much longer the rest of the football world will sleep on the dominant tackle.

Next: Steve Smith plots his revenge

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