This was origionally a response to a thread. But, hey, we've got a full week until the next Cowboys game and need something to talk about, so let's talk about ILBs.B+
- He’s looked really good in coverage, always seems to find his man and be all over him. There were a couple times he found the RB or FB going way across the field and still had him
- He looks great moving through traffic. He’s blown up running backs in the backfield because of how smoothly he can get through holes and shoot to the back.
- Very good at minding his gap, always has his gap in run support
- Tackling, tackles surely. I don’t think I’ve seen him miss one yet
- Not fast sideline-to-slideline. One play in particular he got sucked in about 2 steps and did not have the speed at all to get to Rock Cartwright streaming out his side. He made the tackle but gave up like 15 yards and got him from behind when Cartwright slowed down. From the camp reports I thought he was faster than he actually is sideline to sideline.
- Not physical tacking on blocks. When a fullback gets his hands on him, he has to give up ground. He doesn’t have the explosion at the point of the block to stand up a fullback.
Conclusion: An upgrade over Carpenter at the nickle linebacker position. He covers well and is good in interior run support. The lack of speed to the sideline is my major concern moving forwards for his chances at taking a starting ILB position in the future. If he's getting beat to the edge by Rock Cartwright, I'm worried about what happens when you put in Chris Johnson, Adrian Peterson, Maurice Jones Drew, Felix Jones, etc.
Leon Williams - C-
Conclusion: I was a little excited to see how he did after his interception against the Bengals. But, man, I'm sorry I looked at him. This guy does not make an NFL team.
He missed tackles. He was a liability in coverage losing his man sometimes and getting burnt other times.
We know about the dropped interception that could have sealed the game. But he had another game-losing play as well. The game-losing running back screen was to his side, he saw it, moved to the back, and out in space let a lineman block him out of the way, springing Cartwright that a huge gain. So the two biggest plays that allowed the Raiders to beat us were squarely on his shoulders.
I saw nothing in the physical tools of speed, size, or strength to make me think he has a ceiling to aspire to.
He is the quintesential camp body. He's just there to fill a role until Lee gets back.