Quinnen Williams could be a breakout player this year. Last year, it was Raekwon Davis, who led the team in sacks after being a minor rotational player in 2016. Williams was a rotational player last year, but he made the most of his time.
He notched 20 tackles, getting better late in the year. Of those 20 tackles, 6.5 were for a loss, good for 4th on the team and 2nd among defensive linemen. Of those 6.5 tackles for loss, 2 were sacks.
With the loss of Da’Ron Payne, Da’Shawn Hand, and Josh Frazier, Williams is in line for a much larger role in 2018. He was consistently running with the first team during the spring, and he was a starter along with Isaiah Buggs and Raekwon Davis at A-Day.
He didn’t have a ton of plays to break down at A-Day, so I looked at his sacks from 2017 because everybody loves a sack.
1st and 10: Williams (#92) is the left defensive end. I’d like to say he does something special here, but he really doesn’t. Williams rushes the outside shoulder of the guard, who had stepped inside, gives him a quick shove, and blows right by him. Williams is now right in the face of QB Kellen Mond and easily brings him down for his first career sack.
1st and 10: Williams is again the left defensive end with Josh McMillon (#40) standing up to his left. Williams quickly gets in the right guard’s chest and gives him little yank, knocking him off balance. He runs into some congestion, however; and the center helps pick him up. Williams doesn’t stop churning, though. Good coverage forces QB Myles Brennan to hold on to the ball, and Williams gets free. He turns on the speed and shoots around the interior lineman and takes Brennan now.
2nd and 6: Alabama’s in a four man front, and Williams is at the 3 technique spot on the outside shoulder of the left guard. Lester Cotton pulls to the right, and Ross Pierschbacher (#71) picks up Williams. Williams stands Pierschbacher up and isn’t driven back. He sheds the block as Najee Harris (#22) is going by but just misses the tackle.
1st and 10: Williams is the right defensive defensive end; but, with Christian Miller (#47) standing up to his right, he’s lined up in the A gap (between the center and tackle). Pierschbacher stymies him initially, and there’s a bit of a pile-up with Raekwon Davis (#99) there too. Williams doesn’t give up, though. He maintains his balances; and, importantly, he keeps his feet churning. Williams gets his hands in Pierschbacher’s chest and drives him back, straight into Hurts, who has to spin away to his left. Miller, who is being blocked by Elliot Baker, in for Jonah Williams at left tackle, has shuffled inside; and Hurts has a whole lot of green. He scampers out of bounds after a gain of eight.
2nd and 10: Williams is at defensive tackle in another four man front. He quickly identifies the screen and abandons the rush, taking off to try to head off Damien Harris. Williams shows off his speed, not letting Harris get away from him. Mack Wilson (#30) cuts off Harris, and Williams and Wilson combine to bring him down for a gain of four yards.