Alabama Football News

Jonah Williams answers critics with solid NFL Combine performance

Jonah Williams in stance
Christopher Hanewinckel - USA TODAY Sports

He lacks an elite wingspan. His arms are too short. He would fit better as a guard. 

These were the criticism that proceeded former Alabama offensive tackle, Jonah Williams heading into the National Football League Scouting Combine and during his workout on Friday. However, this is also the same Williams that was a five-star from California who spent three years at both offensive tackle positions for the Crimson Tide. 

After starting his career at right tackle in 2016, he handled the opposite side of the offensive front in the next two seasons and graded out at 90 percent or better on assignments in 2018. 

Williams did not allow a sack last season, which allowed for Tua Tagovailoa to collect 3,966 passing yards with 48 total touchdowns (school record) and become both a consensus All-American and a Heisman finalist. Behind the experience of Williams, Alabama’s offense achieved new heights in averaging 45.6 points and 522 yards a game. 

RELATED: Which former UA star has the most to prove at NFL Combine?

He weighed in at 6’4 ½” and 302 pounds, while measuring a wingspan at 81 ¾”.  

With the nit-picking of his size out of way, Williams showed scouts at Lucas Oil Stadium why he is the most valued linemen in this year’s class. Despite him being cheated three reps on the bench press – it was stated that Williams did not lock out – the 2017 College Football Playoff National Champion turned in 23 reps of 225 pounds: a solid number for someone with short arms. 

He moved on to put in a good time in the 40-yard dash at 5.12 seconds (12th among OL) and posted a 28” vertical. Williams’ broad jump was 100 inches and he displayed both exceptional footwork, discipline and hand strike in on-field drills. A cool moment for him occurred at the conclusion of his workout as Williams met his idol in former NFL offensive tackle, Joe Thomas. 

He wore No. 73 in college in honor of Thomas. 

When it comes to the red flags about his size, Williams would not mind playing in a different role — yet he is highly confident in his abilities to control the outside edge.  

“I know I am capable of playing left tackle at the highest level,” Williams said. “I’ve proven I can do it college. I am a competitor. I want to be on the field and there are five offensive line positions. If they want to put me at tight end, I’ll play tight end. It’s really up to the NFL team.” 

He has his Pro Day coming up on March 19 at Alabama and with him projected as the No. 2 offensive lineman on most draft boards, teams like the New York Giants, Atlanta Falcons, New York Jets, Houston Texans and Minnesota Vikings could use someone of Williams’ caliber. 

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Stephen M. Smith is the managing editor and senior writer for Touchdown Alabama Magazine.  You can “like” him on Facebook or “follow” him on Twitter, via @CoachingMSmith.

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