The National Football Post’s Aaron Wilson is reporting that Tennessee defensive tackle Dan Williams will visit the Patriots this week.
I’ve gotten clarification that Williams will be traveling from California to New England on Tuesday, and meeting with New England on Wednesday, when his Vol teammate Montario Hardesty will be here as well. Wilson also reports that Williams is meeting with the Chargers — who lost long-time nose tackle Jamal Williams to Denver — today.
Williams was 6-foot-2 and 327 pounds at the combine, and ran a 5.17 40-yard dash with a vertical jump of 32 inches.
On one level, this one might be a little perplexing, given that Williams would project as a nose tackle for New England, is a certain first-round pick, and the Patriots just locked up Vince Wilfork and spent a Top 50 pick on the position (Ron Brace) last year. But my question then would be whether Williams could be projected as an end in Bill Belichick’s 3-4 front.
Haloti Ngata played 3-4 end for a time in Baltimore, when Kelly Gregg was on the nose for the Ravens. The Jets have employed Kris Jenkins some at the position in their 3-4. Eric Mangini used Corey Williams at end in his 3-4. So having a supersized player at that position is not all that unusual — Remember, the Patriots used Wilfork there to combat Miami’s Jake Long.
I’ve seen Williams (who was a bodyguard of sorts for Patriots MLB Jerod Mayo in 2007 in the Tennessee front) predicted to go as high as 12th to Miami, so it’ll cost you to get this guy.
As we’ve pointed out here before, the Patriots are going to kick the tires on a whole bunch of these guys. The in-house visits are a bit more significant, because teams are limited to 30 of them.