Texans take speedy OLB Williams in 4th

Texans take speedy OLB Williams in 4th
April 27, 2013, 1:30 pm
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Dwight Freeney had short arms. Von Miller wasn’t tall enough.

But both of those guys turned out pretty good.

No, linebackers coach Reggie Herring wasn’t comparing Texans fourth-round pick (124th) Trevardo Williams to either of those Pro Bowl players, but they have their similarities.

Williams, a Jamaica native, was a defensive end at UConn but is just 6-1, 241 pounds. Typically, that’s too short for an OLB at the NFL level.

But Williams is fast. Really fast.

“The one thing he has is, that the rest of them on the board don’t, and that’s fast. Period,” Texans linebackers coach Reggie Herring said. “The guy can fly. And the transition in this league, without knowing any technique or fundamental skills about rushing in this league, if you are fast, you have a chance to be successful early before you ever learn any techniques.”

At the NFL Combine, Williams ran the 40-yard dash in 4.57 seconds, the fastest of any defensive lineman. He ran track in high school and said his fastest time in the 100-yard dash was 10.58. “That’s when I was skinnier,” he said.  

While talking about Williams’ height, Herring brought up Miller’s lack of height and Freeney’s short arms. He said both of those guys had a quality that allowed them to overcome their physical deficiencies. Williams has that too; he has speed.

“He got away with the basic scale because he had a quality that could balance out the lack of others skills or measurables,” Herring said of Freeney.

Williams was a defensive end in college but said he did stand up like a linebacker some. The Texans never worked him out but did call to verify his phone number. He had 12.5 sacks as a junior and 11.5 as a senior.

“I’m a natural two-point stance pass rusher,” Williams said. “I believe I excel better in a two-point stance. I have so much explosion from that stance. I know that I am extremely good in a two-point stance.”

The pick of Williams at 124 made him the second consecutive outside linebacker the Texans took after they selected LSU’s Sam Montgomery toward the end of the third round.

Herring said he expects Montgomery to be ahead of Williams at the SAM position but pointed out that it’s still early. Drafting two outside linebackers in consecutive picks will give the Texans a chance to move Brooks Reed inside to play next to Brian Cushing if they choose.

With Whitney Mercilus returning to the weakside, Williams might have a chance to challenge Montgomery for the SAM job.

“Oh man, I don’t know how to put this in words,” Williams said about playing for DC Wade Phillips. “I just know he’s going to teach me so much more. I know I’m going to grow as an athlete even more than I am right now, and I’m looking forward to that. I’m excited.”