Sha’haun Williams is a guy who seemingly slipped through the cracks despite putting up monster numbers in his senior year with the Notre Dame Falcons. During his senior year, Williams put up stats that were absolutely monstrous. Granted he was playing at the division II level, the fact that he dominated to this extent has to be recognized. Williams will now look to a new developmental league the MLFB, and join the Arkansas Attack to continue his development.
Overlooked in the Draft
Despite several solid seasons with the Falcons, Williams couldn’t find a home following his graduation in 2019. I believe this is due to his status as a “tweener” a slang term for a player whose size and skill set fit somewhere in between the typical definitions of that position.
He played defensive tackle during his dominant season in 2018, but at 6’3 260 lbs, he looks more like a defensive end. However, in a day and age when the 3-4 defensive front is all the rage, to me Williams looks like a perfect fit, and honestly looks like a bit smaller version of a very disruptive defensive tackle currently in the NFL. Aaron Donald.
Donald fell in the first round due to his size not being ideal for the defensive tackle position and he plays at 6’1 280 lbs. Give Williams the ability to get into a weight room with professional level coaching, and I don’t think it’s outside the realm of possibility to see him gain another 10-20 pounds to play a true defensive tackle role, or simply work on his quickness and play end in the 4-3 front.
Some coaches see a player that didn’t play a set position or fit a certain criteria they have predetermined and decided it isn’t worth their time to develop that player. However a lot of times this leads the NFL to miss, and that is the exact reason we see the MLFB launching in 2022. They want to fill this space to develop players into NFL talent.
At no point have they stated they intend to keep talent for themselves long term. In fact quite the opposite which is why players are flocking to this league right now to get film out there, while getting paid to do so.
Williams will try and show a couple of different things by playing in the MLFB in 2022. They main thing he has to show his strength. His strength has been questioned at times when it comes to his fit at defensive tackle, but yet he still manages to get off blocks and make the big play. I personally value a player that can finish a play, rather than fit a great RAS score while he fails to make plays.
However, that’s why Williams is intriguing. Despite a lack of elite level strength, or weight behind him to play tackle he knows how to penetrate and make plays. He will be teamed with former defensive back and current defensive coordinator Derrius Bell in Arkansas under an offensive minded head coach in Ernest Wilson.
I was curious how the defensive coordinator Derrius Bell felt about the move to bring in Williams. Coach Bell was gracious enough to offer his opinion. “Yes very excited about Sha’Haun looking forward to meeting him personally along with the rest of the guys… but he is very explosive, quick, should be a great piece to our defense. That being said I feel like we have signed plenty of good talent along with Sha’Haun.”
I definitely agree coach.
Final Word on Williams
Sha’Haun Williams is by far one of the most accomplished collegiate players currently available on the open market. Division II or not, his level of competition may have been beneath him, but his production was next level. When a player pops on tape like Williams does, you have to consider that maybe, just maybe, the on field play matters a bit more than the what you see in the combine and preconceived notions of where a player fits due to his size and strength.
It’s 2022 it’s time the coaching staff finds a way to utilize a player in the correct way. We should be past forcing a player into a scheme he doesn’t fit. That’s why I am excited to see Williams paired with a younger defensive coordinator in Derrius Bell. The former player is much more likely to be willing to move players around and find their ideal position rather than force a square peg in a round hole because the instructions written 70 years ago say so.
Unleash the Action: Sign up for XFL Insider and Fuel Your Passion for Football!