I am going to kick off this new series with the Cowboys first pick in the 2009 NFL draft, linebacker #58 Jason Williams.
Jason attended Western Illinois College. He stands 6-1 and weights 238. From the research I have done on Jason he seems to be one of the most underrated players in the draft. Jason switched from strong safety to weak side linebacker in his sophomore year. He ranked among the nation’s leaders in forced fumbles and tackles behind the line of scrimmage in the last three years.
Jason attended DeSable High School in Chicago. He was highly regarded for his rushing and passing ability as a linebacker. Jason rushed for 2,988 and threw for 3,015 yards. He had a total of 71 total touchdowns in his high school career, which led to a undefeated season his Senior year and earned him two All-City and All-Section honors.
Williams enrolled at Western Illinois as a 200 pound athlete in 2004, where he red-shirted. In 2005, he appeared in 10 games, not seeing much action early in the year being listed third on the depth chart at strong safety. His special team talent helped him get a starting position for the team’s two final games. When he got the chance to play he took advantage and had 23 tackles with a stop for a loss and one blocked kick.
In 2006 Williams continued to be a terror on special teams. Jason switched to weak side linebacker, he was the only defender to start all 11 games. He received the teams’ Green Beret Award for his talent on the kicking game. He also ranked second on the team with 92 tackles, three sacks, and 10.5 stops for a loss and he also caused three fumbles.
In 2007 Jason was on fire, He made All-American and All-Gateway conference first-team choice,finished second in the voting for Defensive Player of the Year. He also led the team with 107 tackles and eight sacks. He led the conference with 16.5 stops behind the line of scrimmage. He also recovered two fumbles.
Williams’ senior year in 2008 he was named a consensus All-American and a unanimous All-Gateway Conference first-team selection. He came in 4th in the voting for the Buck Buchanan Award, given to the top defensive player in the FSC ranks. He started every game as a weak-side linebacker, leading the nation with a school season-record six forced fumbles, the second best total by a Gateway player. He finished 2nd in the league with team high 17 stops for a loss and had 4 sacks among his 67 tackles 39 being solo’s.
So after researching Jason Williams I can now understand why he was considered underrated in the draft.
He certainly seems to have the talent to be an impact player and I look forard to seeing him wreak havoc on the footbal field in 2009!