Who is Alabama's next Tim Williams? Here are 3 possibilities
Tim Williams was Alabama’s most productive pass-rusher on a per-snap basis over the past two years. After losing Williams, Ryan Anderson and Jonathan Allen to the NFL, who can Tide fans expect to see replace Williams’ production getting after the quarterback?
Here is a look at three potential candidates for 2017.
1. Christian Miller
Class: Redshirt Junior
Weight: 230 pounds
Skinny: Miller is a fourth-year junior who is the front-runner to replace Williams at Jack linebacker or Anderson at Sam linebacker. Of all the candidates looking to replace what Williams brought to the table, Miller is the most obvious choice.
The former 5-star prospect, according to 247Sports, features a lot of similarities to the former sack specialist. Miller provides excellent burst off the edge, and he is already advanced with hand usage. Another similarity is the questions surrounding his ability to stop the run.
Much like Williams during his junior year at Alabama, Miller only weighs around 230 pounds. This hinders Miller’s ability to hold up at the point of attack in the run game, and so it’ll be interesting to see how much weight he can gain during the offseason program while still maintaining his above-average athleticism.
Williams went from 230 pounds his junior year to 252 pounds this past season. While he didn’t become the full-time player everyone was hoping that he would, he still showed a considerable amount of improvement stopping the run in his limited opportunities.
2. Terrell Hall
Weight: 247 pounds
Skinny: There isn’t much college game film to evaluate. However, when looking at his game film from high school, he might be the most complete edge player on Alabama’s roster. He has the physical build to be a force against the run and the pass.
Hall, above pressuring Austin Allen, doesn’t have elite burst off the edge, but he is above average in this area. He also displays a solid pad level that allows him to gain leverage in the run game, and that is an area where he loves to mix it up. He isn’t an elite run-stopping edge defender like former Alabama standout Courtney Upshaw, but he does show the ability to be an effective player against the run.
Hall doesn’t have any sort of arsenal as far as pass-rushing moves are concerned. If he wants to be an effective player at this level, he has to significantly improve his hand usage. He showed flashes of improvement in this area during his limited snaps this past season, but there was still plenty of room for continued development.
Heading into spring training, it looks as though it will be Hall and Christian Miller who will be listed atop the depth chart for the Crimson Tide.
3. VanDarius Cowan
Weight: 226 pounds
Skinny: Cowan is a dark horse for the upcoming battle to see who steps up to become Alabama’s next elite pass-rusher. He had offers from major programs such as Florida State, Clemson, Ohio State and others before deciding to roll with the Crimson Tide.
The former 4-star prospect from Palm Beach Gardens, Fla., showed elite ability on the high school level. He has explosiveness and bend for a player his age, and he also displays the necessary recognition skills to make an impact early in his career at Alabama.
Now, he will need to get into Alabama’s offseason program and put on a significant amount of weight. The main concern with Cowan is his off-the-field issues.
He was kicked off his high school football team this past season due to behavior issues, which included unnecessary penalties, being benched and interacting with fans while eating during a game. Those are potential red flags when it comes to projecting how he develops at Alabama, but nobody has given up on him.
Keep an eye out for the true freshman this spring.