You can never rule anything out with Howie Roseman but it's a shame that Alabama defensive tackle Quinnen Williams likely won't become teammates with his favorite NFL player.
Appearing on Chris Simms' Unbuttoned podcast, Williams was asked which player he's most looking forward to facing off against in the NFL. Simms thought Williams would respond by naming a quarterback, but instead got a much more surprising answer.
“My favorite football player is Jason Kelce, so going up against him is going to be crazy," Williams said. "I’ve looked up to him. I’ve watched everything he does. I have him on my (Madden) Ultimate team. I play with the Eagles just so I can get him. He’s the real deal. I’ve gone against a lot of centers, and I watch Jason Kelce film, study him, learn his technique, learn the things he does, and then I can defeat other centers.”
Williams' appreciation for centers should not be a surprise, however. Read this excerpt from Fran Duffy's poll of the toughest players in this year's draft class.
(Ross) Pierschbacher, a four-year starter for the Tide, told me that he studied Williams hard, trying to pick up tendencies with the hope that he’d get a jump on blocking him throughout the year. That work was futile, however, as he said Williams was constantly changing things up, keeping him from getting a bead on him as a rusher.
A couple of days later, I hoped to get Williams’ side of the story. I didn’t even need to ask the question, as he was already telling the story of how he first moved to nose tackle as a freshman, and Pierschbacher used to just destroy him in practice every day. He spent the offseason studying the center, picking up his tendencies so that he could get the upper hand. The mental chess match went in favor of the younger lineman in Williams, who is arguably the top player in this year’s draft.
Just a redshirt sophomore in 2018, Williams posted 90 tackles, 25 tackles for loss, and nine sacks in two seasons with the Crimson Tide. The winner of the Outland Trophy as the nation's top interior lineman, Williams was also a unanimous first-team All-America selection.
Projected to be a top-five selection in the upcoming draft, Williams is 6-3, 303 pounds, and ran the 40-yard dash in 4.83 seconds at the NFL Scouting Combine, an outstanding time for an interior lineman at his size.