Tulane senior linebacker Dorian Williams clearly went out in style. Measured at 6-foot-1 and 228 pounds at the NFL Combine, the fleet Williams left an unbelievable final impression that concluded his four-year career at Tulane.
In his final game, a 46-45 win over USC in the Cotton Bowl, Williams excelled.
How can any defender excel in a game in which his team allowed 45 points?
Well, Williams was all over the field, making a career-high 17 tackles, with nine solos and eight assists. He departed with some hardware, named the Cotton Bowl’s Most Outstanding Defensive Player.
What Team Drafted Dorian Williams?
Williams was drafted by the Buffalo Bills in the third round with the 91st overall pick.
Dorian Williams Draft Profile
What made Williams such a successful football player was the way he moved sideline to sideline. Known for his outstanding speed, he was the fourth-fastest linebacker at the Combine, running the 40-yard dash in 4.49 seconds.
To put that time in perspective, it was faster than 21 wide receivers at the Combine.
He finished his senior year with a flourish, recording double-figure tackles in six of his final seven games. He especially shined in the big games. During Tulane’s 45-28 win over UCF in the American Athletic Conference championship, he recorded 10 tackles, including two tackles for loss and one sack.
During his senior year, he earned first-team All-AAC first-team honors. Williams appeared in 13 games for the 12-2 Green Wave, who had a total turnaround after going 2-10 the previous season.
No FBS team had ever won 10 more games than the previous season.
As a senior, Williams recorded 132 tackles. He had 8.5 tackles for loss and five sacks. Williams also recorded two interceptions, seven pass breakups, four quarterback hits, and two forced fumbles.
He was a three-year starter after recording nine tackles in 11 games during his freshman season in 2019.
For his career, Williams ended with 312 tackles, including 27 tackles for loss and 9.5 sacks. He had two interceptions and 14 pass breakups.
With the speed he had and his ability to more than hold his own in the passing game, one has to wonder if any NFL teams might view Williams as a potential safety.
One thing he will have to do is get stronger, according to NFL analyst Lance Zierlein, who prepared the scouting reports for NFL.com. Williams did not participate in the bench press at the Combine.
Besides the 40, he also excelled in the other drills at the Combine. Williams ran 1.54 seconds in his 10-yard split, which was second among linebackers. That number was better than seven cornerbacks posted.
Williams’ vertical jump of 33.50” was seventh among linebackers, and his broad jump of 10’00” was ninth.
Of course, some players are workout wonders at the Combine, but Williams had the production to back up his athletic feats.
He received a prospect grade of 5.95, which is an average backup or special teamer.
Yet Williams could prove everybody wrong because he showed that he can make plays and even has the speed to overcome some potential mistakes.
Plus, he had some of his best performances against strong Power Five programs. In 2021, Tulane opened with a 40-35 loss at Oklahoma. Williams tied for the team-high with eight tackles.
Zierlein suggests that Williams could be a likely Day 3 selection, looking to fit into a backup role as a Will linebacker.
While that could very well be true, Williams’ speed, athleticism, and college production could suggest he might exceed those expectations.