The Football Outsiders Almanac 2022 is a thorough preview of the upcoming NFL season.
Cale Clinton wrote the chapter on the Jets. He has been answering questions about the team.
With the core of the Jets roster full of young players, most of my questions have been about expectations. My final question is about the oldest player in this young core, Quinnen Williams.
Within the fanbase, there is a perception that Quinnen Williams has been a bit of a disappointment. How has he performed relative to reasonable expectations for a player drafted third overall?
I think Quinnen Williams has been solid over his three years in New York. Then again, you don’t draft “solid” third overall in the NFL Draft. One could even argue Williams is not even the best defensive tackle taken in the first round of his own draft class. I’d be willing to hear arguments for Ed Oliver and even Jeffery Simmons over Williams. He’s the highest-drafted defensive tackle since 2011 and has not played like he deserves that distinction. That being said, is it bad to say “Who cares?” At this point, Williams is a cost-controlled luxury from a prior administration. He is one of just two starters (along with C.J. Mosley) who wasn’t drafted or signed under Joe Douglas. While he hasn’t been transcendent, Williams has served as a really solid defensive tackle who got better under Saleh. He finished 14th among defensive tackles in 2021 with a 78% run stop rate, putting up 6.0 sacks and 16 hurries to boot. He’s not the most available player, active in 41 games over 3 seasons, but his 633 defensive snaps in 2021 were the most of his career thus far. When he’s there, Williams is dependable. He won’t break the bank when his contract is up in 2024 if the Jets decide to keep him around.
Football Outsiders has been pretty high on most Jets youngsters. This seems like an exception.
I can’t say I agree with Cale’s comments here. I think he is selling Quinnen a bit short. I do think he raises a point that flies a bit under the radar. The defensive tackle has missed a lot of time during his brief career. This actually worked to the Jets’ benefit a bit as it lowered the price on his fifth year option.
Still, I feel like Quinnen Williams has been better than just dependable. All three years he has been an above average player. At his best in 2020 he contended for a Pro Bowl spot.
Is Quinnen Williams going to consistently be in the running for All Pro teams? I’d say probably not. Do you feel good if he is your best defensive player? Again I’d say probably not. Still, I think he is a very solid building block.
In an ideal world you would like a superstar with the third pick, but that’s not as easy as you’d think. There are plenty of players picked in that spot who are outright busts. Maybe Quinnen Williams isn’t quite what Jets fans were hoping for, but he’s still a good to very good player.