Player Profile: Sam Williams
By AceRimRat, for Raiderfans.net
In the days leading up to the 2003 draft, rumors swirled -- including here on Raiderfans.net -- that the Raiders had their eye on a sleeper, the big, fast Fresno State linebacker Sam Williams. Sure enough, when draft day came, the Raiders traded a future second-rounder for an extra third-round pick, and used that pick on Williams. At 83rd overall, the two-year starter was chosen ahead of several more highly touted players and was considered, as many Raiders first-day picks were, something of a reach.
Questions about Williams increased almost immediately, when the Raiders announced they planned to use the 6-4, 240-pound linebacker as a pass-rusher -- from the defensive end position. But when Williams showed up for the team's first minicamp 15 pounds heavier and with his 4.5-4.6 speed intact, it seemed that once again, Al Davis and Bruce Allen knew something other teams didn't.
Part of a 2003 pass-rushing crop that includes Tyler Brayton and Shurron Pierson, Williams is looking to make an impact on a defensive line that lost two of its three primary ends this offseason. Though it remains to be seen how long it will take this project to adjust to the NFL and his new position, he has the organization and fans alike excited about his potential.
(References: Silver & Black Illustrated, Pro Football Weekly 2003 draft guide, Ourlads Scouting Services 2003 draft review)
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