A forgotten man on the Baltimore Ravens suddenly deep defensive line group, Brandon Williams looks to have another good season in 2020.
Headed into his eighth season, Brandon Williams is one of the longest-tenured players on this Baltimore Ravens roster. Williams has been a cornerstone on the defense from both nose tackle and in recent years 3-tech defensive tackle. His stout play vs. the run has made the coaching staff a big fan of his, while the fans love the bubbly and outgoing personality he carries.
The big ‘ole clown will once again be a big part of Baltimore’s plans defensively in 2020; perhaps more so than in years past.
For starters, Brandon Williams carries quite the cap hit for 2020 at ~$14.2 million. The Ravens will want to get the absolute most out of his contract and will rely heavily on Williams to revamp the team’s run defense, which gave up an uncharacteristic 4.4 YPC in 2019. Baltimore paid for their subpar run defense in a devastating playoff loss to the Tennessee Titans. There’s no doubt the Ravens will be looking to see their investment get back to his dominant play this season.
Brandon Williams has been playing 3-tech defensive tackle the last few years while then-Raven Michael Pierce played Williams’s natural position at nose tackle. Pierce has since moved on to the Minnesota Vikings, allowing Williams to slide back to his natural fit at nose tackle. This move could be a huge difference-maker and shift the defense back to their old ways of stuffing the run.
A move back to nose tackle for Brandon Williams could mean a return to his complete and utter dominance from the interior we haven’t seen since his move to 3-tech defensive tackle. With incomers Calais Campbell and Derek Wolfe next to him crashing the pocket, we could see one of Williams’s more productive seasons of his long career in the sack department.
While sacking the quarterback has never been Brandon Williams’s forte, that could change in 2020. Campbell and Wolfe combined for 13.5 sacks on their respective teams in 2019, while Williams’s teammate, Matt Judon, comes back for 2020 off a 9.5 sack campaign. With all this heavy traffic playing next to him, Williams may find some wiggle room to beat single coverage from the interior. It could mean Williams may put up some surprisingly good numbers this year.
Obviously, Brandon Williams more than likely won’t put up big sack numbers; he’s just never been that guy. Still, Williams could surprise with pass-rushing help on the defensive line he hasn’t seen in his career and wind up having a career-year in rushing the quarterback. And, of course, he’ll be stout vs. the run.
All in all, expect Brandon Williams to return to form in 2020 and remind fans why the Baltimore Ravens paid him the big bucks back in 2017.
Brandon Williams 2020 projected stats: 35 tackles, two sacks, one fumble recovery