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View Full Version : Dan Williams vs. BJ Raji


EndZoneDB
04-07-2010, 04:16 PM
I am trying to decide how Dan Williams compares to BJ Raji.

As we all know, last year Raji went #9 overall to the Packers. He had huge character issues to boot, and from a size and measurable perspective, it seems like Williams and Raji are similar. Raji is about 10 pounds heavier.

They both played in 4-3 defenses in college, but obviously projected to the nose in the NFL.

Williams production seems to at least match Raji, if not exceed it, so i am wondering why he isn't rated any higher.

Is it just because of better top end talent in this draft?

K Train
04-07-2010, 04:22 PM
I am trying to decide how Dan Williams compares to BJ Raji.

As we all know, last year Raji went #9 overall to the Packers. He had huge character issues to boot, and from a size and measurable perspective, it seems like Williams and Raji are similar. Raji is about 10 pounds heavier.

They both played in 4-3 defenses in college, but obviously projected to the nose in the NFL.

Williams production seems to at least match Raji, if not exceed it, so i am wondering why he isn't rated any higher.

Is it just because of better top end talent in this draft?
huge character concerns? what was it? i think he said he smoked weed before

im not crazy about dan williams as a 34 NT, raji is a better athlete imo, he plays end for the packers alot which says alot about his athleticism. when you can have a true NT play end and bump someone whos not as good to NT i think its a pretty good setup to have, not sure williams compares to him in the position versatility

EndZoneDB
04-07-2010, 04:27 PM
huge character concerns? what was it? i think he said he smoked weed before

im not crazy about dan williams as a 34 NT, raji is a better athlete imo, he plays end for the packers alot which says alot about his athleticism. when you can have a true NT play end and bump someone whos not as good to NT i think its a pretty good setup to have, not sure williams compares to him in the position versatility

I agree that Raji has versatility, but I am not sure the Packers knew he could handle both positions when they took him.

Raji red shirted his junior year (2007) because he became academically ineligible. Then he failed the drug test at the combine... usually 2 red flags would bump you down a bit.

K Train
04-07-2010, 04:31 PM
i wasnt sure raji was gonna be a great NT, he seemed like more of a pass rushing DT than a space eater...i thought his best fit was going to be in washington next to haynesworth but he proved me wrong with being pretty dominate is rookie year.

i do think williams would be a stud in a 43 as a NT...like houston, minnesota, or tennessee, not sure how i feel about him in a 34 and definitely not the steelers 34

btw i guess i dont consider being dumb a character concern lol, i didnt know it was a failed test at the combine i forgot that, i thought it was a prior thing

keylime_5
04-07-2010, 04:38 PM
Raji is better. He has more explosion and offers more as a pass rusher. More athletic and bigger and not just a one year wonder.

the_dark_knight
04-07-2010, 04:43 PM
Raji is more poven, had more snaps where he dominated, but notice, once an NFL coordinator got ahold of Williams what he did with him. I think Williams has big time pro potential, but Raji was just absolutely pro ready from snap 1.

DeepThreat
04-07-2010, 04:44 PM
Depends on the scheme to me. In a 4-3 or 1 gap 3-4, I prefer Raji. In a 2 gap 3-4, I prefer Williams. But I was a huge fan of Raji last year, and I am a huge fan of Williams this year.

umphrey
04-07-2010, 04:47 PM
Raji is better. He has more explosion and offers more as a pass rusher. More athletic and bigger and not just a one year wonder.

This, also the character concerns were like a yellow at absolute worst. The Packers look at character so much it's close to being a fault. They surely looked into him pretty intensively and must have felt pretty comfortable with him to take him at 9, although he did have some bad marks in the past.

EndZoneDB
04-07-2010, 04:53 PM
Raji is better. He has more explosion and offers more as a pass rusher. More athletic and bigger and not just a one year wonder.

OKay, here is where my questions start.

Williams is a one year wonder... yet in his first couple years he put up 40+ tackle seasons and 6.5+ tackles for loss each year. Thats decent production from a DT... is it not.

BUt people look at the crazy numbers from his senior year, and think he is a one year wonder.

I guess looking at Raji, his sophomore year was a bit better... don't see his senior stats.

Couldn't it be that Williams is improving?

CashmoneyDrew
04-07-2010, 07:05 PM
Dan Williams is not a one year wonder. I've been touting him around here since his sophomore season when he was making big plays back then. It just seems like he's a one year wonder because he was severely underrated until this season and the spotlight has just now found him.

As for the Raji comparison, other than size I don't really see too many similarities. In a 4-3 I'll take Dan Williams as the better prospect. 3-4 I'll take Raji. But I do think both could excel in either system.

Also, Dan Williams wasn't playing next to a Ron Brace type of player at Tennessee for most of his career. He got his production playing next to the likes of Wes Brown and Demonte Bolden.

PACKmanN
04-07-2010, 07:13 PM
Dan Williams is not a one year wonder. I've been touting him around here since his sophomore season when he was making big plays back then. It just seems like he's a one year wonder because he was severely underrated until this season and the spotlight has just now found him.

As for the Raji comparison, other than size I don't really see too many similarities. In a 4-3 I'll take Dan Williams as the better prospect. 3-4 I'll take Raji. But I do think both could excel in either system.

Also, Dan Williams wasn't playing next to a Ron Brace type of player at Tennessee for most of his career. He got his production playing next to the likes of Wes Brown and Demonte Bolden.

he had Robert Ayers on that line with him instead.

Don Vito
04-07-2010, 07:22 PM
I'd take Raji. He could move around a 3-4 front or play in a 4-3, I personally think Raji is much more explosive as well. Williams is a great prospect but I don't think he is quite as good as Raji.

CashmoneyDrew
04-07-2010, 07:25 PM
he had Robert Ayers on that line with him instead.

Robert Ayers wasn't utilized to the best of his abilities at UT and was also overdrafted in the mid-first.

Aloysius
04-07-2010, 07:31 PM
In terms of athleticism and style of play, Williams probably is somewhere in between Raji and Ron Brace. He moves better laterally and has better technique than Brace, but he's not an explosive penetrator & pass rusher like Raji.

Very few people are going to lament that Williams would be better served playing 3 technique, like some were saying about Raji last year. At the same time, there may be fewer concerns about Williams having the discipline and smarts to master the 3-4 NT position. I think he's a very good fit for that spot.

TitanHope
04-07-2010, 07:39 PM
I'd say he's in between B.J. Raji and Ron Brace. Closer to Raji than Brace though in terms of quality of a player, but is more of a 2-gap DT like Brace.

Raji is better. He has more explosion and offers more as a pass rusher. More athletic and bigger and not just a one year wonder.

Voodoo beat me, but yeah, Big Dan isn't a one year wonder. He was just as good as a junior. After I heard he'd bulked back up to 327 in between his junior and senior seasons, I predicted he'd be the top NT in the Draft. /shameless plug :D He was that impressive to me.

he had Robert Ayers on that line with him instead.

Because we all know how good Robert Ayers was in college.

Rosebud
04-07-2010, 07:46 PM
Dan Williams plays more based on his great power and uses his lateral to enhance that while Raji is more of a penetrator as he's got better burst to get up field. He's a strong kid and that makes his quickness more effective but he is more a penetrator than DW, who I think moves down the line better as well. I'd love either one for the giants although I prefer DW since I think he'll shutdown the run better from day one.

FUNBUNCHER
04-07-2010, 07:57 PM
Raji had a rep for being a dominating DT for most of his college career, Williams really only became a presence in the consciousness of football fans his last year at Tennessee.

Consistency + talent > potential upside.

Also, at the Senior Bowl, Raji was by far the most dominant lineman there on either side of the ball. He simply could not be blocked one on one; that performance alone I believe helped to skyrocket his stock before the draft.

TitanHope
04-07-2010, 09:05 PM
Raji had a rep for being a dominating DT for most of his college career, Williams really only became a presence in the consciousness of football fans his last year at Tennessee.

Consistency + talent > potential upside.

Also, at the Senior Bowl, Raji was by far the most dominant lineman there on either side of the ball. He simply could not be blocked one on one; that performance alone I believe helped to skyrocket his stock before the draft.

He was a NT on a 5-7 team that didn't even go bowling. Of course he wasn't "a presence in the consciousness of football fans." But that doesn't mean he still wasn't an extremely good player. I'm also not understanding your equation, as Williams has been one of the best and consistent players for the Vols since the beginning of his junior season.


This isn't directed at you FB, but it's like the fact that just because some people didn't do their homework and didn't know about Dan Williams prior to his senior season automatically made him some unknown that came out of nowhere. He was voted 2nd Team Preseason All-SEC prior to his senior year, which wouldn't have happened if he wasn't an established player (Terrance Cody, Carlos Dunlap, and Greg Hardy were the 1st Team DL's).

Shane P. Hallam
04-07-2010, 09:21 PM
They are very different prospects. Raji has more of a potential to dominate, rush the passer, etc. You are using Dan Williams as a stout, eat up blocks, and make solid tackles guy. I'd probably grade Raji out a bit better, but close for me and both are so different in stature.

JFLO
04-07-2010, 09:26 PM
I wasn't as high on Raji as other people were last year, but I would still grade him higher than Dan Williams. Raji's ability to disrupt the opposing pocket would be the deciding factor in my opinion.

I still like Dan Williams, but I'm not sure if he could be as solid as a 3-4 NT as most people are perceiving. 4-3 DT? Sure.

Preston
04-07-2010, 09:41 PM
Raji was much more explosive and probably could have played in a 4-3 defense if he was drafted by a 4-3 team. On the other hand, Dan Williams profiles as a pure 0 technique and is really limited as far as collapsing the pocket goes. Different players, but Raji is a bit sexier prospect because of his ability to provide pressure.

EndZoneDB
04-08-2010, 11:14 AM
So in trying to sum some of this up...

It seems like Raji is a bit more explosive from a pass rush perspective. Which is probably why he is playing some DE in a 3-4 as well as the nose.

From the Sounds of it, if Williams goes to a 3-4 team, he is strictly a NT, and won't offer much in terms of rushing the passer, but will anchor well, and tie up blockers.

I'll say this... As a Buffalo Bills fan, i am having a hard time not considering Williams at #9. My theory is that the top 3 OT's will be gone, and i am not particularly sold on Claussen. I would like to see them grab the best NT in the draft (if they can't move down) and then work on getting an OT like Charles Brown or Roger Saffold either with their second round pick, or move up to make sure we lock one of those guys up.

Currently we are projecting Kyle Williams to the nose, which he does not profile very well to at all... and after him, we have a bunch of undrafted guys we signed off the streets.

SenorGato
04-08-2010, 11:26 PM
Raji ftw. Raji was a pretty awesome prospect for his position, even in that fairly weak draft last year.

Paranoidmoonduck
04-09-2010, 12:37 AM
I definitely like Raji more, but Shane hit it on the head. I think the two are pretty different even considering their similar builds. Dan Williams does some things better than Raji, but the things Raji did better he did considerably better, in my opinion.

Raji was double teamed less in college though, to be fair.