Brandon Williams is a more important player than he’s getting credit for:
I got thinking yesterday, who are the most important players on the Baltimore Ravens one player who almost surprisingly came up in my top 10 was Brandon Williams. Williams is a defensive tackle who quietly is one of the best run stopping linemen in the NFL. This offseason has gone very well the stock of Williams.
The first thing to understand here is exactly what Williams brings to the table. He’s played a lot of defensive end in the past couple of seasons yet he’s not really meant to be a five technique. Williams is at his best when he’s shading the center or head up on him. He’s a good old fashioned nose guard.
The problem was that the Ravens had another player at the nose in Michael Pierce. Moving Williams over worked, yet it was problematic. The Ravens had two space eaters who didn’t give you a ton of pass rush. Williams is a player who does best when he’s in his specific niche and because of that he needs the right talent around him.
That’s where Calais Campbell, Derek Wolfe, Justin Madubuike and Jihad Ward come in. The Ravens now have the right talent at the right spots. Campbell and Wolfe can play at the defensive end spots. They offer quality run stopping and borderline elite interior pass rush. Williams is now able to be the anchoring point of the defense. He can now do the dirty work in the trenches that makes a huge difference for the players around him.
The Ravens drafted Patrick Queen and Malik Harrson and signed Jake Ryan. The middle of the defense was obviously their main concern this offseason. In a base 3-4 defense the two guards are uncovered. The Ravens need a nose guard who will own the middle of the line of scrimmage and command double teams.
Essentially Williams is charged with maximizing the team’s NFL Draft double dip at the middle linebacker spot. Williams’s job is to make Queen the most feared young linebacker in the NFL. Williams will make life easier for the linebackers behind him. Forcing double teams will make life easier for Campbell, Wolfe and the rest of the defensive linemen.
Running on the Ravens is going to be a challenge when Williams is on the field. We however, already knew that. When Williams has missed action, that’s when the Ravens have been gashed the worst on the ground. Remember the first battle against the Cleveland Browns last year? Nick Chubb will never forget it.
The moral of this story is that Williams may not be the biggest star on the team, however he is one of the more important pieces of the roster. The plan the Ravens have had this offseason may not be because of Williams, but he seems to be a central piece to what the Ravens want to do in the middle of their defense.