Alabama pass rusher Tim Williams visits the Steelers
April 11, 2017 11:25 AM
Samantha Baker/Associated Press
Alabama's Tim Williams
By Ray Fittipaldo / Pittsburgh Post-Gazette
Every year there are talented players in the NFL draft that see their value diminished for off-field concerns. The Steelers are doing their due diligence on a couple of highly rated players with questionable pasts in the weeks leading up to the draft.
On Tuesday, Alabama outside linebacker Tim Williams is visiting the Steelers. Williams failed multiple drug tests while in college and had a gun charge last year.
“I’m a young player. I made decisions that I grew from,” Williams said at the NFL combine. “It’s all about being a man, owning up to your situations, owning up to your mistakes. I’m not here laughing around joking. I know I’ve got something to prove. I’m obviously behind the 8-ball so I’m here to prove not only to myself but to every organization that if they take me, they’re going to get the best player here.”
On the field, Williams’ talent is undeniable. He had nine sacks and 16 tackles for loss last season while earning second-team All-America honors. He is one of the most talented pure pass rushers in the draft.
Williams (6-3, 244) is not known for his ability to defend the run. In fact, Alabama used him mostly in pass rushing situations only throughout his career.
Williams is projected by a few draft analysts to go in the first round, but others believe he’ll get drafted in the second round because of his drug issues and the doubts about his run defense.
Of the 19 prospects who have taken predraft visits with the Steelers five of them are outside linebackers.
Also visiting the Steelers Tuesday is defensive end Tanoh Kpassagnon, who is regarded as one of the top FCS prospects. Kpassagnon, who had 11 sacks and 21 tackles for loss last season, has been rising up draft boards with a strong showing at the combine.
At 6 feet 7 and 290 pounds, Kpassagnon has unique athleticism for a player his size. He is projected as a middle round pick.
Here are the Steelers predraft visitors through Tuesday:
April 3: Patrick Mahomes, QB; Joshua Dobbs, QB; Joshua Reynolds, WR; Kenny Golloday, WR
April 4: Takk McKinley, OLB; Derek Rivers, OLB; Jourdan Lewis, CB; Montae Nicholson, S
April 6: Chris Godwin, WR; James Conner, RB; Budda Baker, S; Josh Jones, S; Jarrad Davis, LB
April 7: Zach Cunningham, LB; Carroll Phillips, OLB
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