With essentially one-quarter of the 2022 regular season in the rearview mirror for the New York Jets, there are some noticeable takeaways. Arguably, none bigger than the fast start Quinnen Williams is off to.
In his fourth year, the former third-overall draft selection was expected to start breaking out and consistently dominating. And luckily for the Jets, so far, it has been the case.
In all four games that the Jets have played, Williams has made a few obvious splash plays. Whether it be defending the run, pressuring the quarterback, recording sacks, or playing with pure effort, Williams has done it all for the team. He is quite possibly the Jets’ best player this season to this point.
Before taking a look at the film, statistically, Williams has had a great start with 2.5 sacks, 11 pressures, and six quarterback hits.
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New York Jets’ Quinnen Williams dominance:
Starting against the run, Williams has had some impressive reps.
In the first clip, you will see Williams competing through a dual block off the snap. From there, he exhibits his play strength to hold his gap while doing a great job of keeping his eyes on the ball carrier. Finally, he competes through the block to finish the play for a minimal run.
Here, Williams once again sees a dual block off the snap. Only this time, there is lateral movement with the zone-blocking scheme. Williams keeps sound hand placement and leverage, which allows him the strength to hold his ground inside and, from there locate the runner. Thanks to a firm edge set by Carl Lawson, the run is kept inside, and Williams cleans it up.
Williams wrecks this play from Sunday’s win in no time. He uses his quickness off the ball to get in a good position as Mason Cole works to seal him off by gaining positional leverage. With active and savvy hand use, Williams is able to get Cole completely off-balanced, showing his strength, then utilizes his leverage to finish generating power.
Williams’ 11 pressures have him tied for 11th among all defensive tackles in the NFL.
On this play, he wins with an explosive first step vertically, having ready, tight hands, then gets low to win the pad-level battle at initial contact. He is too fast for Tyler Linderbaum here, who cannot get good hand timing or placement. As a result, tons of power is generated by Williams at the point. Linderbaum is then off his base leading the way to a late Williams pressure as he gets his right arm over.
Williams works from a wider alignment pre-snap here compared to the clips above. Operating from the 4i-Technique, Williams is able to display some of his lateral movement skills. He wins with a good pass rush move on this one, a club rip (clubs with left hand/arm, rips through with right). Once again, he competes through a block, this time to his face en route to another pressure.
A key for Williams in making his breakout indisputable is getting home and finishing with sacks. He has 2.5 in four games, putting him on pace for 10.5 this year.
The Jets dial up a game from a more unique overloaded front. Working right over the center, Williams creates knockback at the point of contact thanks to his upfield speed and leverage at the initial point. He shows his play strength with his left hand placed on and power as he works through the block. Then, he concludes with an arm over from his right (not placed at the initial point), well executing his rush plan.
Williams’ sack here comes from a well-schemed stunt. The Jets show five along the front, and C.J. Mosley drops back right before the snap. Williams times it up well as Lawson works wide from the edge to the inside. Williams then takes a perfectly tight, direct angle and finishes with a third-down sack for himself.
Lastly, the effort in pursuit finishing plays with Williams constantly shows up every week. This was another third-down contribution in the big Week 4 win the Jets had, where Williams wins with pure hustle.
Across the board, everything that could have been asked for from Williams has come to fruition to this moment. He is playing hard, stopping the run, making an impact as a pass rusher, showing his pass-rush moves, plan, and technique, along with his athletic gifts. As a young 24-year-old, Williams should just be getting started with this level of dominance for the Jets.