The first six seasons of Leonard Williams‘ career haven’t exactly been thrilling from a wins and losses standpoint. He was the sixth-overall selection of 2015’s NFL Draft but landed with the New York Jets, so there’s that. He did get a Pro Bowl nod in 2016 out of the deal though. Then, right around 2019, he left Florham Park for East Rutherford, and that’s where Philadelphia Eagles fans started to see him a little more often.
Williams was traded from the Jets to the cross-town New York Giants, one of the teams that Birds fans see twice annually and hate the most, on October 28th of 2019. The Jets got a third-round selection in 2020 and a fifth-round selection in 2021. The Eagles got a headache out of the deal as the Giants got a pass rusher that could irritate Philly for a while.
The Philadelphia Eagles are looking up at the New York Giants now.
Here’s something that you may not want to hear if you’re a Birds fan, but had Evan Engram been able to haul in a fourth-quarter pass from Daniel Jones last season at Lincoln Financial Field, the Giants would have swept Philly in 2020’s season series between these age-old rivals.
Things went Philly’s way in that one, but after watching the second half of the NFL season, Giants head coach Joe Judge seems to be leading New York’s upswing while Philly is trending downward.
Sure, prior to a win by the G-Men last season, the Birds held a seven-game winning streak over Big Blue. Williams was there for three of those losses (he lost to the BIrds twice as a member of the New York Jets as well). Still, in four games with the G-Men versus Philadelphia, Williams has been in for 206 snaps.
The result? Leonard Williams has added 13 tackles, a half a sack, two pass breakups, and seven additional hits on the quarterback. Now, while those numbers won’t earn you any trophies on your Madden MUT of Franchise Modes, don’t let the numbers fool you. This dude is irritating.
It appears the Philadelphia Eagles will see Williams twice in 2020.
Ian Rapoport appeared on Good Morning Football to discuss the big guy as New York is expected to franchise the young man. Take a look at this one.
That isn’t the world’s worst news, but it definitely isn’t great news for the Philadelphia Eagles either as they try to iron out some offensive line issues. Lane Johnson battled injuries all season. Andre Dillard didn’t even make it to the start of the 2020 regular season, and Jordan Mailata, though solid, isn’t what you’d consider being polished.
Williams plays defensive tackle, but Philly wasn’t much better in the middle of their O-line either as Isaac Seumalo and Brandon Brooks both missed time a season ago.
All of the aforementioned Birds will return for the Eagles in 2021. That helps as Philly will need all hands on deck to stymie a young Giants defense that’s getting better seemingly on a week-to-week basis. Williams will be a part of that, for at least two more games it appears, and though he hasn’t completely figured out the Philly riddle yet, he’s getting close.
Keep an eye on him either way. He had a monster year in 2020, totaling 57 total tackles and racking up 11.5 sacks. Trust and believe the Eagles’ offensive coaches will dedicate a lot of time to figuring out a game plan to limit him.