Leonard Williams is much more than a long and proportioned frame.
It’s what the three-year starting defensive lineman can do with it that makes him special.
As Williams gears up for USC’s March 10 pro day, he is jockeying with other elite prospects to be the No.1 overall pick on April 30 at the NFL Draft.
Standing on his time in the 40-yard dash (4.98) and other workouts from the NFL Combine, Williams plans to focus solely on the position drills.
Williams is widely considered to be the best prospect in the draft and understands the unique predicament that the Tampa Bay Buccaneers â who hold the top pick — are facing.
As general manager Jason Licht and head coach Lovie Smith enter their second seasons in the building, they are looking to identify a franchise-changing player. While Williams might be the most polished player in a deep class of linemen, the Bucs have a glaring need at quarterback. Florida State’s Jameis Winston already participated in a team visit with Tampa shortly after the NFL Scouting Combine. That’s not deterring Williams as he understands a lot can happen over the next 50 days.
"I do believe that I should be the No. 1 overall pick," Williams told FOXSports.com. "At the same time it depends on what guy a team needs. Some teams need a quarterback more than others."
What makes the 6-foot-5, 298-pound Williams rather astute is he knows it’s not about how high you get picked, but rather where you go.
"I’m more concerned with finding a good fit," Williams said. "That’s the most important thing. At the same time, I’ve been working hard to get drafted and it’s a dream of mine to get drafted as high as possible."
If the Bucs were to select Williams, it would be a welcomed landing spot as he’s originally from Daytona Beach, Fla. If they chose to pass, falling to Tennessee, where longtime defensive coordinator Dick LeBeau was hired this offseason, wouldn’t be a bad place to start his career, either.
"It would mean a lot to go anywhere and play, but it’d be cool to play closer to family back in Florida," Williams said. "I rarely got to see my family when I was at USC. I would only see them like once a year."
Williams, 20, plays with an extremely good motor and his rare athleticism allows him to play all across the defensive line. Racking up 21 sacks and 36.5 tackles for loss during his three-year career, Williams looks to be an instant-impact player at the next level. Drawing unique comparisons to seven-time Pro Bowl selection Richard Seymour, whoever drafts Williams will certainly have a new chess piece as he can be used to create mismatches.