From charting every pass-rush rep by Quinnen Williams in 2020, we learn a lot about which positions suit him best and what moves he prefers.
New York Jets defensive tackle Quinnen Williams enjoyed a breakout 2020 season that featured an ascension to dominance in both phases of the game. As a run defender, he led all interior defensive linemen in run stops per game (2.2), and as a pass rusher, he ranked 12th at the position with 3.0 pressures per game.
Williams showed a particularly large amount of growth in the passing game.
In his rookie season, Williams failed to make much of an impact as a pass rusher. He was a decent bull rusher and did a great job of creating penetration to execute stunts, but the overwhelming explosiveness, savvy finesse, and impressively wide array of rush moves that he displayed at Alabama had all seemingly disappeared.
Williams rarely picked up clean one-on-one victories that substantially affected the pocket. He struggled with getting off of the football explosively, could not chain multiple moves together, and usually did not have an effective counter when his initial move was stymied.
While Williams modestly affected plays using bull rushes on a fairly frequent basis (thanks to good pad level and sheer power), his finesse moves were telegraphed and easily shut down by opponents. He usually had no answer when the opponent sold out to stop the first move he used.
In terms of snap timing, Williams consistently got off the ball a step or two after his opponent, frequently putting himself at a disadvantage before even getting into the rush.
As for combo moves, Williams rarely showed the ability to follow up one successful move with a second successful move. When a rusher fails to do that, he gives his opponent a chance to recover. This limited the number of times that Williams could turn his victories into tangible production, as he often left his body exposed and was driven off the ball after initially defeating a blocker.
All of these weaknesses were extinguished in 2020. Williams developed into the complete package as a pass rusher. He rediscovered the many flashy moves that he utilized in college and did a great job of chaining them together or using them as counters. In addition, he began timing the snap much better, maximizing his raw strength.
Williams was no longer a predictable, one-dimensional rusher. He proved capable of defeating blockers in numerous different ways from multiple alignments.
I went back and charted every one of Quinnen Williams’ pass-rush reps in 2020 to get a complete idea of who he is as a pass rusher. For each rep, I tracked the following:
- Williams’ alignment (3-tech, 1-tech, etc.)
- Williams’ matchup (RG, C, LG, etc.)
- Williams’ move type (rip, swim, bull rush, etc.)
- Did Williams win the rep?
- Did Williams record pressure?
Through this process, I was able to learn a ton about Williams’ strengths and weaknesses – his best positions on the defensive line, his best moves, the offensive line positions he beats up on the most, and more.
Let’s dig in.