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Quinnen Williams Catching Fire with 49ers

A lot went wrong last season, but the possibility of a spectacular comeback in 2019 is not as unlikely as their most recent record would suggest. The 49ers have started the 2019 off-season with a lot going in their favor. After an aggressive yet economical beginning to free agency the team prepares to add some young blood to their roster. The 49ers only have six draft picks, but among those picks is the 2nd overall selection which gives them an opportunity to grab one of the best prospects available.

If the Arizona Cardinals take Heisman trophy winning quarterback Kyler Murray first overall as many expect, the 49ers will be able to select the best player on their draft board. Who that player will be, however is up for debate…

Most believe that Nick Bosa is that player, but after the 49ers recently traded for Dee Ford, an edge rusher may not be their first choice. If the 49ers don’t select Bosa and are unable to trade down, it’s very possible that Quinnen Williams could be their guy. Defensive tackle isn’t exactly a position of need, but Williams’ talent can’t be ignored. The talented youngster is believed to be the best defensive tackle coming out of college since Aaron Donald was selected by the Rams with the thirteenth overall pick in the 2014 NFL Draft.

Drafting an interior defensive lineman 2nd overall however, may not be a popular choice among Niner fans. After all, the 49ers have selected three in the first round the last four drafts, but other than Deforest Buckner, none have set themselves apart. Regardless, John Lynch will need to get it right this time and selecting an athlete of Williams’ caliber would be a great start.

Williams ran an impressive 40 time at this years NFL Combine, clocking in at 4.83. That’s the fourth fastest 40 time for a 300 plus pound lineman since 2003, but it was his lateral quickness that impresses talent evaluators the most. Retired defensive end and SB Nation contributor Stephen White had this to say about Williams in a recent article…

“I’m not sure I have ever seen a defensive tackle prospect be as productive as Williams was moving laterally. He has this uncanny ability to side-step offensive linemen and make them miss with a quick arm-over. This was both against the run and the pass.”

Mike Renner, a senior analyst for Pro Football Focus analyzed Quinnen Williams’ highlight footage back in December and explains in the following video why he’s one of the top prospects in this year’s draft class…

 

In my opinion there’s no doubt that Williams would be an upgrade to the 49ers’ defensive interior, but where does that place former first round selections Arik Armstead and Soloman Thomas? It will be up to defensive coordinator Robert Salah to figure out the answer. Whether that’s creating a rotation or keeping all his best players on the field throughout, Salah will have his work cut out for him. Best case scenario, the 49ers will have one of the scariest defensive fronts in the NFL.

 

The 49ers current draft selections for 2019 are as follows.

Round Pick No.
1 2
2 36
3 67
4 104
6 176
6 212 (compensatory selection)

 

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