Dan Williams: "I would definitely love playing for the Chargers"

When former All-Pro nose tackle Jamal Williams was released from the San Diego Chargers, he left behind a big hole in the middle of the Bolts' defense. But perhaps that hole can be filled by another Williams. Tennessee's Dan Williams has seen his stock rise remarkably over the past year, as he now finds himself ranked as the top true 3-4 nose tackle in the 2010 NFL Draft. While the pairing is perfect, the Chargers must hope that Dan Williams is available to them down at pick 28.

Having met with Dan Williams at the Senior Bowl and Combine, the Chargers have gotten up-close and personal with their potential first-round target. Williams has meet with San Diego scouts and coaching staff, but they're obviously not the only ones interested in Williams.

While not a glamor position by any means, the nose tackle in a 3-4 is nonetheless a highly coveted commodity. It takes a unique individual and a rare combination of size and brute strength in order to play the zero technique.

"It's definitely a challenge I'm willing to take," Williams told BOLTHYPE.com "I played a little bit of zero technique this year, and I've played zero for both of my coordinators in college. I know that it starts up front, and nose is a key part of the defense. It's a challenge I can't wait to take on."

At 6'2" 327lbs, it's hard for Williams to go unnoticed. He's a load in the middle and can hold his own against double and triple teams. While you'll certainly see him making plays on the football field, chances are you'll also notice how much space he takes up in the huddle.

"I've never always been the biggest, and I've never always been the strongest. But one thing I can say is you'll always notice me out of everybody else on the football field. I'm going to always do something different like extra hustling. And if I have to over-power someone, I will. Facing a talented opponent motivates me to be a better player. I'm always up for the challenge, and I've always tried to be a hard-worker and a good player."

Hard work is what Dan Williams attributes the significant development from his junior to senior year. One of the knocks on Dan Williams has been an inconsistent motor and work ethic. There have been questions of maturity and 'want-to' - is he a one year wonder motivated by the prospects of NFL paychecks? Or is Williams committed to the game and his future career?

"I did a lot of maturing over my college years," Williams explains. "Going from my junior to senior years, we went through a lot of adversity when my coach got fired and having a new coaching staff. "

"I become more of a leader my senior year," says Williams. "I was trying to be an example to the young group of defensive lineman that we have at Tennessee now. I went back and watched my junior film, looking for things that I could do better. A lot of times I would see myself and say 'If you hustled a little more you could have made that play'."

"I wanted to go to a bowl game. I wanted to make sure our hard work at Tennessee didn't go to waste. I wanted to improve my game and I wanted to help my team win."

Playing for Tennessee, Dan Williams and his Vols faced some of the stiffest competition in all of college football. The SEC is widely regarded as the toughest conference in the nation, with powerhouse teams such as Florida, Alabama, and Tennessee fiercely competition for victories and recruits alike.

So did playing in such a conference help prepare Williams for the next level?

"Oh it differently helps," says Williams. "Just look at the offensive linemen from the SEC coming out in the draft this year. You've got [Maurkice] Pouncey from Florida, John Jerry from Ole Miss, Mike Johnson from Alabama. Going up against those type of guys every weekend, I really do feel [playing in the SEC] prepares you for the next level. Everybody in the next level is good and are hard workers, but not to many other conferences are producing this caliber offensive linemen year in and year out. It really helped me become a better player.

With his college career now in the books, the Senior Bowl and Combine wrapped up, and fresh off his pro day it would seem that Williams' next game would be the waiting game. With team visits being scheduled and the draft just a month away, Williams embraces the process.

"I'm just going to continue to work hard. I have no control of where I'll be drafted. I do feel I've left a pretty good impression on teams, but at the same time if they want to see one more thing, if they want to see something else out of me, I'll be glad to do it."

As for fans of the San Diego Chargers, we can only hope that Dan Williams falls to the 28th pick in the first round. The Chargers would love to have him, and as far as Dan is concerned, that feeling is mutual.

"I would definitely love playing for the Chargers. I've watched San Diego for years now. Growing up, I remember in the mid 90s when Junior Seau was playing MIKE linebacker I had posters of him in my room. I always hear San Diego is a beautiful place to live. The weather and scenery is beautiful and they have one of the best teams in the nation. I would definitely love it."

March 21, 2010

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Anonymous said... Mar 21, 2010, 11:23:00 PM

Dan Williams is definitely what we need to solidify our defense. He has the size to play nose and is an absolute beast. He dominated the senior bowl, but my question is..

If Dan Williams, T. Cody, and Ryan Mathews are available at 28, who should we take?

Also, should we move up in the draft to make sure we get Williams, or even move up to take Spiller? (assuming that T.Cody and R. Mathews will fall to us at 28)

Anonymous said... Mar 21, 2010, 11:43:00 PM

Sadly he won't be there. If A.J. feels we need him badly he will get him. But I think not. So lets concentrate on NT : Thomas or Cody in the 2nd, RB in the 1st: Mathews or Best, RB in the 3rd Rnd : Tate or Dwyer 4th: Rolle CB

Anonymous said... Mar 22, 2010, 2:07:00 AM

Aj´s gonna trade up to get him, maybe a package with our next year´s 3rd rounds. Cause if Cody or Williams won´t be there at 28 no more, i doubt that we´ll find our true NT for the next years.

Anonymous said... Mar 22, 2010, 10:42:00 AM

I think we should deal sproles for a first rd pick this year and get Dan Williams. Who would trade their 1st for sproles? then at 28 we get Jahvid best, then in high second we get tyson aluala, then in the 3rd we get Toby Gerhart. then history will be written.SB bound. That would be a great decision what do you guys think?????


Anonymous said... Mar 22, 2010, 10:43:00 AM

I think we should deal sproles for a first rd pick this year and get Dan Williams. Who would trade their 1st for sproles? then at 28 we get Jahvid best, then in high second we get tyson aluala, then in the 3rd we get Toby Gerhart. then history will be written.SB bound. That would be a great decision what do you guys think?????


Anonymous said... Mar 22, 2010, 11:52:00 AM

San Diego is going to be meeting with Cody before the draft. Im going to guess that Baltimore is going to take Williams in the first, but any of the other teams could get him before the Chargers pick 28th. The NT class isnt that deep, especially with prototypical 3-4 NT's, so they will pick up Williams if he is available, or they will pick Cody. My guess is that San Diego believes that Williams will be gone by 28, so they are working out Cody. The RB class is deep, and San Diego has the 40th pick, so they will pick a NT in the first round. AJ won't trade up to get this guy.

Anonymous said... Mar 22, 2010, 12:19:00 PM

It would be nice if earl thomas falls to 28 Also with Hardwick injured often Maurkice Pauncy could be the pick

liquorb4beer81 said... Mar 22, 2010, 12:36:00 PM

You can take this mock draft to the bank:
1st - RB Ryan Mathews
2nd - CB Devin McCourty

3rd - RB Tate, Gerhart or Hardesty
4th - NT Torrell Troup or Linval Joseph
5th - RT (somebody)
6th - NT Al Woods

Anonymous said... Mar 22, 2010, 3:57:00 PM

who does liquorb4beer81 think he is making the worst mock draft ever like if he knows me

Anonymous said... Mar 22, 2010, 4:10:00 PM

I didn't imply I knew you, Anonymous, if that is your real name. But, if you're jealous of my awesome mock, I understand.

Oddly enough, here's Scout.com's latest mock for the Chargers:
1) CB Devin McCourty
2) RB Ryan Mathews or Ben Tate
3) NT Torrell Troup or Linval Joseph
4) RB Charles Scott
I guess great minds think alike (me and Mike Lombardo that is)

Anonymous said... Mar 22, 2010, 4:13:00 PM

Maybe they read this blog too :)

Shane said... Mar 22, 2010, 5:05:00 PM

Only way we take a RB in the first round is if Williams and Cody are gone! Then I could see us taking Matthews. A quality NT comes alot harder to find then a RB. Look where all great NT are drafted, and then look at all the steals where RBs were drafted. I think AJ knows this.

Heres another point, There is no way in hell we trade up for Spiller. I wouldnt even draft him if I were AJ. He is more of an outside runner to begin with (which we already have in sproles), we need someone to run through the tackles, and the RB class is deep. Wouldnt you guys rather have a top tier defense again or blow your load on someone who doesnt fit what the Chargers need!

Anonymous said... Mar 22, 2010, 5:33:00 PM

I agree with you but I'm not impressed with Cody (yet). If Williams dropped to use, that's a totally different story. It seems like Cody's only skill is being 350+ pounds. Why waste a 1st on that? You can get another NT in the 3rd who weighs 330 pounds, can move and has some strength/stamina. I'm certain McCourty would fill a need and not be a bust; same for Mathews. I can't guarantee that Cody wouldn't be a bust.

Whiskeypete said... Mar 23, 2010, 9:38:00 PM

williams in the first. aj will package picks to move ahead of the other 3-4 teams to manuever. personally i prefer williams over cody, based on work ethic and motor. cody basically killed himself with his 370+ weigh in. hell i still like odrick over cody, put him in a 1-technique and they could still operate.

R1- has to be NT
R2- RB....pray for Matthews
R3- CB
R4- RB or RT, depending on draft board and BPA
R5+ draft board and BPA to address depth at S, LB, OG/C

by not signing a UFA RB aj really handicapped the options they have in the draft. they need to pick up two RBs, so they have depth. otherwise SD is faced with sproles, hester and a rookie at rb for a full season. not exactly the post-LT RB era the fans are looking for. maybe he will try pull a trade during the draft for a vet RB

Chris said... Mar 23, 2010, 10:06:00 PM


Cody has slimmed down to 349 at his Pro Day at Alabama. He is working hard to be fit for the NFL. That shows character and his willingness to be in the league. the truth is Dan Williams is simply not going to be avaliable at pick no. 28 and we need more players than people think so if we are going to trade up it's going to be tough. We need a RT as well. the RB class is deep but a quality runner is necessary. We could take Mathews in the first round because switching picks with seattle in the 2nd round Cody could still be available. if not Cam Thomas is another NT, but not a true 2 Gap NT like Cody.

Anonymous said... Mar 24, 2010, 10:17:00 AM

I'm so sick of fans acting like Mathews going to be the next LT. He won't even come close. Get Gerhart or Tate...more bang for the buck.

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