The Football Outsiders Almanac 2022 is a comprehensive look at the upcoming NFL season.
Cale Clinton wrote the chapter on the Jets. He answered questions about the team.
With the core of the Jets roster full of young players, most of my questions were about expectations. My last question concerns the oldest player in this young nucleus, Quinnen Williams.
Within the fan base, there is a perception that Quinnen Williams has been a bit of a disappointment. How did he perform against reasonable expectations for a player drafted third overall?
I think Quinnen Williams has been solid in her three years in New York. Again, you’re not writing a “solid” third overall in the NFL Draft. You could even argue that Williams isn’t even the best defensive tackle taken in the first round in his own draft class. I would be willing to hear arguments from Ed Oliver and even Jeffery Simmons on Williams. He’s the highest-drafted defensive tackle since 2011 and hasn’t played like he deserves that accolade. That being said, is it wrong to say “Who cares?” At this point, Williams is a cost-controlled luxury from a previous administration. He is one of two starters (along with CJ Mosley) who was not drafted or signed under Joe Douglas. Although he was not transcendent, Williams was a very solid defensive tackle who improved under Saleh. He finished 14th among defensive tackles in 2021 with a 78% rush save rate, sacking 6.0 and 16 rushes to start. He’s not the most available player, active in 41 games over 3 seasons, but his 633 defensive snaps in 2021 were the most of his career so far. When he’s around, Williams is reliable. He won’t break the bank when his contract ends in 2024 if the Jets decide to keep him.
Football Outsiders has been pretty high on most young Jets. This seems to be an exception.
I can’t say I agree with Cale’s comments here. I think he’s selling Quinnen a little short. I think he raises a point that goes a little under the radar. The defensive tackle has missed a lot of time during his brief career. It actually benefited the Jets a bit, as it lowered the price of his fifth-year option.
Still, I feel like Quinnen Williams has been more than just reliable. In all three years he has been an above average player. At his best in 2020, he was vying for a Pro Bowl berth.
Will Quinnen Williams still be in contention for All Pro teams? I would say probably not. Do you feel good if he is your best defensive player? Again, I would say probably not. Still, I think he’s a very solid building block.
In an ideal world, you’d want a Superstar with the third pick, but it’s not as easy as you might think. There are plenty of pick players in this place who are downright busts. Maybe Quinnen Williams isn’t quite what Jets fans were hoping for, but he’s still a good to great player.