The Baltimore Ravens have tried to address their pass rush over the last couple of years during the NFL Draft. Ravens General Manager Ozzie Newsome went back to his Alabama roots once again in 2017, this time to get a player that can get after the quarterback.
Former Alabama outside linebacker Tim Williams had 19.5 sacks over the last two years. Williams was selected by the Ravens in the third round— number 78 overall. His speed off the edge will earn him a position as a situational pass rusher for Baltimore.
Williams recently took part in rookie minicamp with the Ravens. He was anxious to get back on the field and play some ball.
"It felt great just to have my first NFL practice and just to compete— just to get back to football," Williams said after practice last week. "I have been waiting to get back out there and go after it and fly around. So, it was very refreshing. A lot of legendary players have been here, and a lot of work has been put in here also, so it just made me feel more comfortable."
Williams faced stiff competition during his days at Alabama and was guided by one of the best college coaches, Nick Saban. He wanted to show that he is able to absorb the coaching that the Ravens staff offers.
The motivation to put in the extra work runs deep for Williams. Unlike most prospects newly out of college, Williams has two daughters. While some may frown upon that, Williams feels it gives him a purpose.
"Just realizing the opportunity that I have," Williams explained. "I have two daughters; I have a six-year-old and I just had one born last month on March 16. I just have a lot of stuff going for me off the field to the point that I have to be a role model to those two girls, so that is really [something that motivates me]. I owe them everything. I do not want to be that type of father to give them an excuse."
As one of the top pass rushers in the nation, the expectation was for Williams to hear his name called earlier in the Draft. Although he is a bit undersized, Williams is a disruptive player that uses his speed to knife into backfields and take down quarterbacks in a flash.
Williams had to wait until the latter part of the third round to hear his name called. The wait may have been difficult for others, but for Williams, it paled in comparison to what he has been through in the past.
"It serves a lot of motivation for me. But growing up in Louisiana with [Hurricane] Katrina and everything, I am used to stuff not going my way," Williams said. "One day you can have a house, and the next day your house will be gone. All I needed was to get my foot in the door and to let somebody give me an opportunity. Like I said, I am very thankful and very blessed to be here, because at the same time, there a million other guys out there that did not get their name called. I am just taking it as a grain of salt."