The wide, enthusiastic smile of Quinnen Williams’ is back.
After a rookie season in which he didn’t perform the way he’d hoped — particularly as the third overall pick in the 2019 NFL Draft with high expectations — Williams is bullish on his chances to become a disrupter in the Jets’ defense in 2020.
“I’m feeling it, man,’’ the 22-year-old second-year defensive tackle out of Alabama said Wednesday after practice. “I feel myself being that person that they drafted me to be. I feel like I’m coming into being that person to being a dominant defensive tackle in the NFL.’’
Williams wasn’t, by any means, a bust last season. He simply did not stand out. He wasn’t the disruptive force in the middle he was in college.
Hampered last year with an ankle injury, he finished with 28 tackles, 2.5 sacks and had a fumble recovery in 13 games.
He spoke on Wednesday of much higher hopes and expectations for himself.
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“I’m in great shape, great condition, I got my body fat down,’’ he said. “I’m rocking and rolling. Last year, I was coming in and getting my feet wet. This year … I got my body right this offseason. I got my confidence back this offseason.’’
Defensive line coach Andre Carter said he felt Williams was over-analytical last season, which slowed him.
“When you think too much, you’re going to naturally take false steps,” Carter said. “When you overanalyze, you’re going to naturally be slow to react. He was like, ‘Hey coach, I learned something today. Just go.’ I was like, ‘It’s about time. I told you that for four or five months.’
“He had shown flashes of good plays, but now it’s continuing to be consistent. It starts in practice. He’s been consistent since Day 1 since we’ve come back as a collective defensive line and he’s shown that.”
Head coach Adam Gases said he’ll measure Williams by one thing.
“I want him to be disruptive,’’ Gase said.
Listening to Williams on Wednesday, he clearly believes he’s up for the task.