Editor’s note: The fourth in an occasional series on NFL draft prospects that would be a good fit for the Patriots. The NFL draft is April 25-27.
Name: Sylvester Williams, DT, North Carolina
Overview: Think Donald Thomas, the former Patriots OL, but on defense. Williams played football for one year in high school and moved on, thinking there was no chance he could play in college. Unlike Thomas, part of it was his own fault. He had trouble going to classes in high school and was tough to mentor. He wisened up, though, walking on at a junior college before making his way to North Carolina in 2011. In two years at UNC, he finished with 96 tackles, 20.5 tackles for a loss, and 8.5 sacks. He is seen as a run stuffing defensive tackle with the ability to clog gaps and redirect plays. A player like Williams would provide depth on the Patriots’s defensive line, which was often undersized in 2012. Williams is also known for his patented swim move, which can be counted as both a strength and weakness, as noted by NFL.com and CBSSports.com draft scouts. But with only a middle second-round to third-round draft projection, he could easily fall to the Patriots at No. 59 overall and be a good addition to the Patriots’ roster at a key position.
Weight: 313 pounds
40-yard dash: 5.03
Bench: 27 reps