Monday, May 2, 2011

Rams' seventh-round pick #2 (#228 overall): Jabara Williams, OLB, Stephen F. Austin

Jabara Williams 6'2" 223
OLB, Stephen F. Austin

2010: Payton Award (equivalent to Heisman in Div. I-AA) finalist. Southland Conference Defensive Player of the Year. First-team All-Southland Conference. Team captain. 109 tackles, 6.5 tackles for loss, 1.5 sacks, four pass breakups and an INT. Played 12 of 13 games.

2009: First-team All-Southland Conference. 13 starts at middle linebacker. 113 tackles, 9.5 tackles for loss, 2 sacks, 7 pass breakups, 2 forced fumbles.

2008: First-team All-Southland Conference. Played 12 games at middle linebacker with 132 tackles, 6 tackles for loss, 3 sacks, 2 pass breakups, 3 INTs, 2 forced fumbles and 2 blocked kicks.

2007: Started 8 of 10 games as a true freshman, playing 7 at linebacker and 3 at running back. Played both ways the last two games. 58 tackles, 3.5 for loss, 1/2 sack and a forced fumble. 46 carries for 230 yards (5.0 ypc) and a TD.

Two-time FCS (Div. I-AA) All-American.

Academics: Major unlisted.

Pro Football Weekly: #18 outside linebacker, #3 available. Grade: 5.12, slightly better than 50/50 chance of making an NFL roster. Not ranked in top 150. Priority free-agent grade. #239 player overall, #19 outside linebacker. Sixth- to seventh-round grade. #17 outside linebacker. Late-round to free-agent grade.


2010: Missed a game due to a twisted ankle.

Pro Day Stats (not invited to NFL Combine):
4.58 40-yard dash (would have been good for 4th-fastest LB at Combine)
36.5 vertical (would have been 4th-best LB at Combine)
9'10" broad jump (would have been top-ten LB at Combine)
7.18 3-cone drill
4.38 20-yard shuttle
17 bench press reps at 225 lbs (would have been 2nd-worst at Combine)

Fluid, athletic and fast. Accelerates quickly and has sideline-to-sideline range. Moves well laterally and has quick feet to slip blocks and beat blockers to the spot. Good hitter. Good instincts. Has hip flexibility to drop into zone coverage or cover receivers in man. Can stay with tight ends in the flat. Has potential as a special teams demon. Plays with attitude and doesn't back down. Four-year starter with good football smarts. Solid character.

Undersized, average arm length, needs to add bulk. Needs to get stronger. Can be run at. Not stout at the point of attack, gets engulfed by larger blockers. Needs to improve his handwork to shed blocks better. Inconsistent breaking down in space. Gets lost in traffic. Plays too tall, which hurts his change of direction. Can use hands better in pass coverage.

Compares to: "a classic run and hit WLB in the Ian Gold, Cato June, John Mobley mode" (Consensus Draft Services).

Fun Facts:
Stephen F. Austin State University, not named for the wrestler, has produced more NFL talent than you'd originally guess. Three former Pro Bowlers who went to SFA: Jeremiah Trotter, Larry Centers, Mark Moseley. Bum Phillips also lettered in football there for two years.

Reasonable pick for the seventh round. Though undersized, Williams brings them some explosiveness they're lacking at will backer and he had very good production for his level of competition. Steve Spagnuolo coached a SFA product in Jeremiah Trotter - can lightning strike twice?

Sources: Pro Football Weekly,, (Scott Wright), Piney Woods Sports (yes, Piney Woods Sports), Stephen F. Austin Athletics,,, Consensus Draft Services, The Sports Network, Wikipedia

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