Baltimore Ravens: Tim Williams will be the next great Ravens edge rusher

TUSCALOOSA, AL - NOVEMBER 26: Tim Williams /

 The Ravens have seen a plethora of great pass rushers over the years. Terrell Suggs, Peter Boulware… Tim Williams? Perhaps he can join that list.

Ozzie Newsome loves his Alabama football players, but he might have just gotten his best one yet in Tim Williams. In fact, Williams could possibly come in and immediately assert himself as the top pass rusher for the Ravens.

It should be well documented by now how big of a fan I am of Tim Williams. I mean, I DID predict Williams to lead the Ravens in sacks as a rookie here. Even beyond my own personal bias, Williams was an elite edge rusher in his time at Tuscaloosa.

Not all opinionated:

Numbers don’t lie and Williams has the numbers to back up the argument to become great. In his four-year career at Alabama, Williams had 20 sacks, including 18.5 in his final two years. What makes this even more impressive is the fact that he didn’t see the field as a starter until pretty much his senior season.

If statistics aren’t your thing, maybe testing numbers are. Williams ran a 4.68 40-yard dash, good enough for 10th among defensive lineman. Now I know what you’re thinking, “Tim Williams isn’t a defensive lineman!” Well, if it makes you feel better, Williams would’ve been 11th among linebackers (which included safety Jabrill Peppers). Williams also finished top ten in the vertical jump and broad jump, placing eighth in both.

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While those numbers are somewhat under whelming, take this to the bank: Terrell Suggs bombed the combine and he turned out just fine. In fact, Williams 40-yard dash time was almost an entire .20 seconds FASTER than Suggs’ 4.84. Don’t put all of Williams stock into his average combine performance. Just put on the tape and watch him work.

Williams is a project and shouldn’t be rushed:

It’s obviously a nice thought that Williams can come right in and be that dominant edge rusher he has the upside to be. But, we as fans need to remember that he’s just a rookie. These expectations aren’t fair to even top picks like Myles Garrett or Solomon Thomas.

Rookies don’t just spit out double digit sack seasons. Just because Terrell Suggs and Peter Boulware came in and recorded double digit sacks as rookies doesn’t mean Williams will do the same. After all, those guys where both taken in the top 10 of their respective drafts.

Williams, of course, was touted as an elite edge rushing prospect who fell due to off-field concerns. So, if THAT Tim Williams shows up to Baltimore, we could be in for a show.

Bottom line:

Tim Williams comes into the season on a loaded Ravens defense. That’s fantastic because he needs some seasoning before he can be handed the keys to be the Ravens top edge rusher. Williams should bring back some memories of a rookie Terrell Suggs. Both Suggs and Williams were great pass rushers in college who had underwhelming combines and joined defenses with established pass rushers.

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Don’t get it twisted; I’m not saying Williams is Suggs. That isn’t fair at all. But don’t forget that Suggs came in as a rookie and led the team in sacks while Boulware was still with the team.

Williams can come in and produce as a rookie. More importantly, he can grow into a well-rounded player behind a veteran like Suggs and eventually be his replacement. Based on Williams’ potential, that’s exactly what he can become. Ravens flock, we could be looking at the next great Ravens’ edge rusher. My money is on him to become that guy.