Purple & Gold Prospects: Tyleik Williams Scouting Report
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This will be an ongoing series to get Vikings fans familiar with upcoming draft prospects. The focus of this series will be to cover prominent prospects entering the upcoming NFL Draft. The series will center on the position groups of highest need on the current Vikings roster, but will also cover stand out players across the spectrum. I hope you will join me on this continuing journey to learn more about upcoming draft classes.
With that let’s discover the possible future of your Minnesota Vikings!
Weight: 290 lbs.
Tyleik Williams was a 4-star recruit out of Unity Reed Lions High School in Manassas, Virginia. He earned a bevy of offers out of high school but would eventually commit to Ohio State in 2020. Williams entered Ohio State at 330 lbs. in 2021 but after shedding a bunch of weight he had a great 2022 season. In that year he totaled 21 tackles, 11 assists, 2.5 TFLS, 1 sack, and 2 passes defended through 13 games. Now listed at 290 lbs., he has exploded this season for Ohio State. Through 10 games Williams already has 41 tackles, 25 assists, 9.5 TFLs, 3 sacks, and 5 passes defended. He has been rising up draft boards and has secured a spot among the top DTs in the upcoming draft.
Games watched: Georgia 2022, Notre Dame 2022, Penn State 2022, Notre Dame 2023, Penn State 2023
Williams has a good low stance and displays excellent burst off the snap. His speed and explosiveness shine on tape really stressing gaps and defenders out of the gate. He is great at shooting gaps, especially when the line is in motion, and often requires a second blocker to pick him up in pass-rush situations. Williams plays with overall good pad level and is rarely loses the leverage war with his opponents. His explosiveness allows him to generate good speed to power in bull-rushing offensive linemen into the pocket. He also sets up defenders well before engaging and is very comfortable countering inside to win the rep. His lateral agility and speed are also on display when he stunts, getting to his lane quickly and pressuring offensive linemen. Williams shows good hand-fighting technique to keep blockers from fully engaging and keeping them off-balance. He has good awareness and is often flowing to the play or keeping eyes on the QB to get his hands up to disrupt passing lanes or defend passes. Williams also shows good instincts in dropping into coverage the few times it is asked of him and will follow RBs out to the flat and stay in the passing lane to deny QBs a safety outlet. This almost led to an interception when he faked a rush and dropped back immediately into a crossing route against Notre Dame in 2023. Williams anchors well in the run game and displays good timing in knowing when to shed blocks to make a play on the rusher. He displays good upper body strength to shed blockers. Williams has a great motor and pursuit speed, often finding himself around the ball.
Williams can lose the play at times in run defense which leads to him misdiagnosing plays or overshooting gaps. He also struggles at times to disengage to make the tackle in his lanes. While he has some tools in his pass-rush arsenal he needs to continue to develop his repertoire of pass-rush moves and counters. He can really struggle when stunting against or lined up on longer-armed OTs. Williams still isn’t as comfortable countering to the outside of his opponent and could use development in this area to keep opposing OL guessing. Pad level can also become an issue when trying to flow across the line following the play, allowing opponents to gain leverage and push him back in run defense. His lighter frame this season has also made him a little more susceptible in losing his anchor in the run game. He will need a little more consistency in pad level to make sure he maintains his leverage.
Williams has absolutely exploded for Ohio State this season. Through 10 games he has far surpassed his 2022 campaign in every statistical category. He has molded himself into an every-down DT over the past two seasons. Williams has amazing speed and agility for his size and could have a monster combine in those regards. With his athleticism, the sky is the limit for Williams. He has been rising up the ranks of DTs in this class and should secure a round 2 selection. Williams is one of my favorite players in this draft class and might even be one of the few DTs to push into the first round of the 2024 NFL Draft along with Jer’Zhan Newton.
Anchor/Run Defense: 8 / 10
Awareness: 8.5 / 10
Burst/Quickness: 9.5 / 10
Counters: 8 / 10
Pad Level/Leverage: 8.5 / 10
Pass Rush/Penetration: 8.5 / 10
Play Speed/Agility: 9 / 10
Power: 8.6 / 10
Size/Length: 7.9 / 10
Tackling: 7.9 / 10
OVERALL: 84.8 – Early Second Round