Zack Williams, OC, Washington State

Scouting reports of the centers, guards, and tackles in the 2011 Draft.
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Zack Williams, OC, Washington State

Postby Pudge » Fri Mar 18, 2011 9:19 pm

Washington State Senior
40: 5.27


A nice position blocker that usually takes good angles. Can get leverage as a run blocker. Flashes some ability to drive block smaller defenders. Can block on the second level. Shows enough athleticism to pull and block on the move. Has decent pop off the snap. Does a nice job initiating contact in pass protection. Can get extension and deliver a nice punch at times. Can wall off the linebacker as run blocker and redirect the interior pass rusher. Shows ability to lock on in a short area. Flashes some cut blocking potential. Plays with a good mean streak and plays to the whistle.


Struggles with his hand use and doesn't get good placement consistently. Whiffs on his punch too much, and will miss blocks because of it. Doesn't have great pop off the snap and doesn't get hardly any push in short yardage. Can come out too high, but also come off the snap with his hands too low. Is a bit of a waist bender, and too often gets overextended trying to deliver his punch. Struggles when he's blocking out in front of screens because he gets overextended, loses his balance trying to locate moving targets. Gives up too much ground in pass protection. Gets too easily beat by the swim move because of his questionable hands, and can get bull rushed and pancaked back into the quarterback. Is low on his snaps out of the shotgun.


Williams flashes tools that with long-term development might make him a decent stopgap defender. He moved to center this past year, starting 12 games and had his struggles. Played in an offense that was almost exclusively a shotgun-based one, and regularly had poor and low snaps in most games. Started 7 games at left guard as a junior. A JUCO transfer at Glendale College after his sophomore year where he was an all-conference center.


The snapping is concerning about his long-term future as a center at the next level. The fact that he played guard as a junior does help him in terms of being able to fill a depth role on a team. But he's not as big or physical enough to really like him there. He is an effective run blocker because he takes good angles, but as a straight-ahead run blocker he'll struggle at the next level. In pass protection, he regularly struggled when asked to block on an island, so you definitely don't like him there. Williams best chance is to go to a team that will keep him as a reserve center for two or three years, letting him develop there and then hoping that he can improve enough to where he can be a decent stopgap starter. The main things he needs to work are his hands and snapping. The good thing is those are areas that can improve with coaching and development. But he's a guy that may have to bounce around the league for a couple of summers before he can stick because he doesn't have the sort of polish to think he'll be great sticking early on a roster and offers limited upside. The best you hope is that his ability to play guard and center means he can add some depth and then four or five years down the road you have a player like Jon Goodwin who is a nice stopgap option as a starter for a year or so. But nobody is going to build around him or really want Williams to anchor their line.


Williams can compete in Atlanta, but doesn't really offer anything to think he could be a major challenger to Hawley's role as the future guy at center. And while his immediate skills probably translate a bit better at guard, he doesn't have the upside to really be a good fit there in Atlanta. The best he could hope for is landing a practice squad because the team likes his mean streak and work ethic under the pretenses of developing him as depth behind Hawley down the road.


The low probability that WIlliams sticks initially and the fact that he's probably three years away from sticking means that he's not really worth a draft pick. But a team should definitely give him a look in training camp.

1-poor, 2-weak, 3-above average, 4-very good, 5-elite

Strength: 2.5
Pass Blocking: 2.0
Run Blocking: 2.5
Footwork: 3.0
Technique: 2.0
Mobility: 2.5
Mean Streak: 3.5
"Vincere scis, Hannibal, victoria uti nescis" -- Maharbal, 216 B.C.E.

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