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Quinnen Williams’ second-year leap dwarfs those of other star DTs

Fletcher Cox is one of many star NFL DTs whose second season was not as good as Quinnen Williams'.
Quinnen Williams, NY Jets, Jet X Graphic, Getty Images

Quinnen Williams’ enormous Year 2 jump

Following a so-so rookie season, Quinnen Williams was under the microscope going into his second year with the New York Jets, and he delivered. Williams catapulted up the NFL’s defensive tackle leaderboard as both a run defender and a pass rusher, elevating from just another guy to a game-changer.

Here is a look at where Williams ranked among qualified interior defensive linemen in 2019 (out of 91 qualifiers) and in 2020 (out of 85 qualifiers):

Stat2019 (Rank / 91)2020 (Rank / 85)
Pressures per game1.5 (43rd)3.0 (12th)
Run stops per game1.1 (50th)2.2 (1st)
Pressures + run stops per game2.5 (47th)5.2 (4th)
Overall PFF Grade67.4 (52nd)81.4 (10th)

Williams essentially doubled his productivity. After producing a combined total of 2.5 pressures and run stops per game in 2019 (47th among IDL), Williams raised his mark to 5.2 in 2020, ranking fourth at the position behind only Cameron Heyward (5.9), Stephon Tuitt (6.3), and Aaron Donald (7.1).

Even amongst the stars, Williams shines

Williams is ahead of where many of the league’s best defensive tackles were at this stage of their careers. Here is how his second-season numbers compare to 10 of the NFL’s highest-paid interior defensive linemen:

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