Along with Graves, head coach Ken Whisenhunt was thrilled with how on opening day of the draft played out. With several teams transitioning to the 3-4 defense, the idea of a player like Williams who translates so strongly to the odd-man front being available was nearly unthinkable. As Arizona's selection grew closer Williams name was still on the board, a pleasant surprise for Whisenhunt and company.
"You start to let your mind think, OK, we're going to have a chance to get this player," Whisenhunt expressed following the draft.
Eric Berry, No. 5 overall pick
With an excellent combination of size and athleticism, Williams (6-foot-2, 327 pounds) displays the necessary attributes to compete immediately at the professional level. Williams isn't overly quick and won't get after the passer much but is stout at the point of attack, making him an ideal nose tackle in the 3-4 defense. Gabe Watson and Bryan Robinson will start on top of Arizona's depth chart at nose tackle, but Williams should receive ample opportunities to earn playing time throughout the year.
During Williams' college career he played in a more traditional defensive scheme but is excited about the Cardinals' aggressive style of play. He doesn't see the transition being a problem.
"I really don't think it'll be that big of a deal," Williams said after being questioned about his new role.
With the draft complete and offseason workouts already underway, Williams' NFL career is just getting started. Given Arizona's lofty investment in the former SEC standout, expectations will be high but also realistic from the Cardinals' coaching staff. With Watson and Robinson already on the roster, Williams has an opportunity to sit back and learn. However, Williams' skill-set and work ethic should allow him to see the field early and often during his rookie campaign.
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