When the New York Jets drafted Quinnen Williams with the No. 2 overall pick in the 2019 NFL draft, they expected a monster interior defender that could put pressure on opposing quarterbacks. While they did receive that player, he struggled in his rookie campaign.
Overall, the Jets’ defense endured plenty of injuries last season, spread across the board, affecting players like CJ Mosley, Avery Williamson, and Williams. In 13 games, Williams posted 28 tackles, 2.5 sacks, and just one fumble recovery. The expectations most placed on Williams’ head were not met, but he has plenty of time to build upon an average rookie campaign.
It is also important to mention that Williams played through injury in 2019, which star linebacker CJ Mosley mentioned in his Wednesday conference call with reporters.
“He fought through injuries early, so he missed a few games,” Mosley said. “But if you look back at his career at Alabama, he didn’t play a lot, so I think he still has a lot of raw talent in him. I think the more he learns, the more experience he gets on the field is going to make him that much better. … Just those little things is going to help him as he gets older. You’re not just going to learn it right off the bat.”
The New York media will find any way to slander a player, so it is important to remember that Williams is an incredibly talented individual who experienced the NFL level at just 22 years old. Writing off the former No. 2 pick would be ignorant, and the fact he suffered through injuries and made himself available is impressive in its own way.
The 2020 campaign should be far better for the young interior lineman. The stage is set for him to increase his stamina and physicality. The speed and toughness of the NFL undoubtedly affected Williams early in his career, and that is expected with any player entering the big leagues. Having one year of essential experience under his belt, Quinnen can easily bounce back with a productive season.
The New York Jets are still waiting on Williams to figure out some legal issues:
Williams is still dealing with some legal issues, dating back to March at LaGuardia airport. He was charged with the illegal possession of a handgun, attempting to board a flight with a Glock 19. Before he can feature on the Jets once again, he must iron out his legal issues. Nonetheless, he played in just 46% of defense of snaps last season and is expected to be a focal point in Gregg Williams’ 3-4 base scheme.