NFL draft grade 2022: Cowboys second-round grade on EDGE Sam Williams

The Dallas Cowboys once again decided to stand pat and watch the NFL draft play out ahead of them in the second round before making their pick at No. 56. In doing so, they landed one of the more talented EDGE rushers in the 2022 draft class and a potential Randy Gregory replacement.

With the 56th overall pick in the second round of the 2022 NFL Draft, the Dallas Cowboys selected Sam Williams, defensive end, Ole Miss.

Dane Brugler’s thoughts on Sam Williams:

A three-year starter at Ole Miss, Williams was a hybrid boundary end (two and three point) in defensive coordinator Chris Partridge’s 3-3-5 base scheme, lining primarily in the 4i-technique. He turned his flashes into more consistent production as a senior, breaking the single-season school record with 12.5 sacks, which ranked top-five in the FBS in 2021. Although he needs better setup and countering skills mid-rush, Williams creates a surge with his hard-charging athleticism and violent hands. In the run game, he has a reliable motor but struggles to control the point because of a faulty anchor and tall pads. Overall, Williams must improve his discipline to be a more consistent edge-setter and rusher, but he has the upfield acceleration and attacking mentality to affect the game as a quarterback hunter. He is an exciting pass rush prospect in subpackages with potential to be more.

56. Dallas Cowboys: B

Size, length, speed – Sam Williams checks all of the boxes the Cowboys look for in their pass rushers, however, he does have some off-the-field issues that raise a few red flags. Talent-wise, he is one of the best pure pass rushers in the entire 2022 draft class.

Dan Quinn, and the rest of the Cowboys coaching staff, will now have to figure out how to best utilize Williams’ talents as a rookie and where he fits best as a rookie. If he puts in the work like Micah Parsons did last season with one-on-one coaching from Dan Quinn, he has a chance to play a significant role for the Cowboys defense in year one.

Overall, Williams is a player full of untapped potential, but it will be up to him to put in the work and continue to develop his skill set. If he puts his nose to the grind stone and becomes more consistent as a run defender, the sky is the limit for him.

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