On paper, the Chargers possess a good-looking defensive line in head coach Brandon Staley’s 3-4 defense, with the starters being Linval Joseph, Justin Jones and Jerry Tillery.
Behind them there’s Cortez Broughton and Breiden Fehoko. Broughton was a seventh-round pick in 2019 and has some versatility. Fehoko, an undrafted free agent, showed promise at nose tackle in his rookie season in 2020.
Under the new system, these players are in a good position to thrive. However, the team could afford from adding some more juice up front, which can be done in this year’s draft.
One player that would take the unit to the next level is former Louisiana Tech DL Milton Williams.
A two-star recruit coming out of Crowley High School, Williams started for the Bulldogs over the last two seasons. He played mostly as the 4i-technique in odd fronts, and would kick out to five-technique in their even fronts.
Williams’ production isn’t as eye-popping compared to these other interior defenders in this year’s class, as he only managed 10 sacks between 2019 and 2020. However, the tape shows that he’s an ascending player with his best football ahead of him.
Standing at 6-foot-3 and 284 pounds, Williams is an athletic specimen, having posted a 4.63 40-yard dash, a 38.5 inch vertical and 34 reps on the bench press at his Pro Day recently.
The athleticism translates to the field, as he wins with his explosive get-off and flexibility to get skinny between blockers and disrupt the pass or run. Williams can convert that get-off to power with good push by using his heavy hands, a wide base, good leverage, and lower body torque.
— Fran Duffy (@EaglesXOs) February 16, 2021
Milton Williams pic.twitter.com/ketI6jtP0g
— Ben Fennell (@BenFennell_NFL) March 30, 2021
It wouldn’t be fair to say that Williams is a perfect product. At the next level, he has to improve his pass rush technique, as he has a limited amount of rush moves and counters to his arsenal, relying almost solely on his club swim and bull rush.
Overall, Williams possesses enticing traits such as athleticism and upper-body strength that could land him as a key piece in the rotation right off the bat, projecting best as a gap-shooting 4i.
With him fitting the mold of an “undersized yet penetrating” defensive tackle that head coach Brandon Staley covets, he could be a serious target for L.A.
The Chargers possess two third-round picks, and they would be wise to consider him to bolster the defensive line, if he’s still on the board when they’re on the clock.