Why did Quinnen Williams break out in 2022?
When the New York Jets selected Quinnen Williams third overall in 2019, it was a well-known fact that Williams had the potential to become one of the best defensive tackles in the NFL. He eventually lived up to his potential – though it took him some time.
Williams’ rookie year was decent, but he didn’t show the dominance many expected. It was clear the Jets (and their fans) needed to be patient with Williams. After all, he only started for one season at Alabama, and he was still just 21 years old when he made his NFL debut. Williams was more raw than many realized.
The full, member-only Quinnen Williams film breakdown (56 plays) can be found at the bottom of this article (must be a Jets X-Factor member and logged into the site).
While Williams took a big leap in 2020 and established himself as a very good DT throughout his second and third seasons, he still wasn’t quite the superstar that Jets fans hoped they were getting with the third overall pick. Williams was hot-and-cold – there were stretches of games where he was dominant, but there were also stretches where he was just “good” rather than “great”.
But in 2022, Williams put everything together. The streakiness was gone – he dominated games on a weekly basis. Plays that were once considered “flashes” became the norm.
So what was the key to Williams’ breakout?
The answer is something that doesn’t get talked about enough in the mainstream media: technique.
Technique is a hidden part of the DT position that few people analyze or truly understand, but it’s crucial. Power and speed aren’t the only things that matter. Factors such as hand placement, leverage, and play recognition – among many others – are essential to success for defensive linemen.
Williams has always been a special athlete. What put him over the top in 2022 was his mastery of the DT position’s technical aspects. Once Williams combined his physical traits with consistent technique, he became a monster.
On the newest episode of Blewett’s Blitz, we break down the film of Williams’ best plays in the 2022 season – focusing specifically on the subtle technical improvements that allowed Williams to develop from a good player to a superstar.
Full member-only Quinnen Williams film breakdown
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