New York Jets Gushing Over Leonard Williams


May 8, 2015; Florham Park, NY, USA; New York Jets rookie defensive lineman Leonard Williams (62) runs drills during rookie minicamp at the Atlantic Health Jets Training Center. Mandatory Credit: Brad Penner-USA TODAY Sports

The New York Jets will be without suspended defensive end Sheldon Richardson for the first four games of the season. So rookie defensive lineman now has a chance to really carve out his role on the team during that time. And all indications from the Jets are that the sixth-overall pick is ready to make immediate impact.

Weve all known what a freakish athlete Williams is at his size but maturity comes into question with most 20-year-olds. But Jets head coach Todd Bowles praised Williams’ maturity and doesn’t see where that will be a problem. Bowles told in May,  “He doesn’t carry himself like a young 20-year-old.”

Nose tackle Damon Harrison went out of his way this week to do his share of gushing over the former USC star.

Harrison said of Williams on Thursday, per “Damn good guy, heck of an athlete, freakish athlete. He picked up on what we’ve installed. He picked up on that pretty quick, so it’s allowed him to play faster than what other rookies have been doing. That’s a credit to him, man, because it’s not easy to learn an NFL defense.

“And he communicates with us. He talks. That’s one thing you don’t find in a lot of rookies. They’re quiet and they’re just trying to learn. He talks. He wants to know: ‘OK, what are you doing on this play?’ He’s trying to make sure he knows what you’re doing, so that he can adjust his game to that.”

Linebacker David Harris acknowledged after the draft that the Williams selection “caught a lot of people by surprise” then said he “loved” the pick. I was among those that were surprised but some teams really do take the best player available. And when they do things just seem to work out like having Williams in the absence of Richardson the first month of the season.

If quarterback Geno Smith can get it together with the defense they’re going to have, the Jets are coming!