Quinnen Williams
ESNY Graphic, AP Photo

The numbers are in and the future is now. Quinnen Williams is the newest New York Jets beast and his odds of NFL success are here.

Michael Nania

There haven’t been many prospects like Quinnen Williams before, which is a huge reason to believe he has so much promise.

However, when we compare Williams to the few past prospects who do closely match him, it becomes clear how special he is. We can see just how good his chances of reaching stardom really are.

At this year’s Draft Combine, Williams weighed in at 303 pounds and ran an impressive 4.83 forty-yard dash. He was only 21 years old when the New York Jets selected him third overall.

Prior to Williams, there have been only six players in Combine history (since 2000) who have met each of the following criteria:

  • Aged 22 or younger on draft day
  • Selected in the top twelve
  • Ran the forty in <4.85 seconds
  • Weighed in at 300+ pounds

Those players were Trent WilliamsMario Williams, Kevin Williams, J.J. Watt, Lane Johnson and Fletcher Cox. Every member of that group has made the Pro Bowl at least twice. Combined, they have 28 Pro Bowl appearances and 19 All-Pro appearances.

Additionally, Williams became just the third defensive linemen selected top-three to post a broad jump length of at least 112-inches while weighing in over 295 pounds. The other two players to do that were Mario Williams and Gerald McCoy. They have combined for 10 Pro Bowl appearances and seven All-Pro appearances.

Let’s keep digging even deeper. As previously mentioned, Williams ran the forty-yard dash in 4.83 seconds at 303 pounds. The only other player to do that and then be selected in the top ten was Kevin Williams, taken ninth by Minnesota in 2003. He would go on on to earn six Pro Bowl appearances and five All-Pro appearances.

What if we looked at the overall pool of talent selected in Williams’s range? If we looked at that group in terms of draft position, the numbers are still strong, albeit less promising. The likelihood of these players becoming elite remains very well relative to the rest of the draft, but far from guaranteed.

From 2000-2014, 16 defensive linemen were selected in the top five. Eight of them made at least one Pro Bowl, and six have made at least three. Six have been named a first-team All-Pro at least once, and only two have been named a first-team All-Pro at least three times.

So, based on those numbers, it seems there is somewhere around a 50/50 shot you’re getting a superstar. That might seem uninspiring, but when we compare that rate to the later parts of the draft, it becomes clear how good of a shot that really is.

For example, let’s take a look at the second Jets selection made in 2019, Jachai Polite. The outside linebacker/edge rusher was taken at #68 overall in the third round.

How much success have third-round linebackers found? Here, we’ll take a look at the rates that third round linebackers have hit certain levels of longevity, and the rates at which they have appeared in Pro Bowls. 74 linebackers were taken in the third round from 2000-2014.

  • 44 have been a primary starter for at least one season (59%)
  • 34 have been a primary starter for at least two seasons (46%)
  • 29 have been a primary starter for at least three seasons (39%)
  • 23 have been a primary starter for at least four seasons (31%)
  • 16 have been a primary starter for at least five seasons (22%)
  • 5 have made at least one Pro Bowl (7%)
  • 3 have made multiple Pro Bowls (4%)

Only three have made multiple Pro Bowls — just four-percent! Compare that to defensive linemen selected top five over the same span. Seven of 16 players out of that group have made multiple Pro Bowls or about 44%. That’s a rate nearly 11 times higher than the one produced by the third round linebacker crop.

No matter how you slice it, there appears to be a very strong chance that Quinnen Williams is going to be a stud for the Jets. Even if he was an average first-round defensive lineman, his odds would be sterling — but he is far from average. His athleticism, build, technique, and raw talent are all off-the-charts special.

The Jets went the safe route and yet again took the best player available — only this time around, the best player on the board might have been the best player in the class.

In due time, Williams might not only be the best player in his class, but also the best player in Florham Park.