Don’t expect any sophomore slumps from Milton Williams in year two.
Those aforementioned 456 snaps in 2021 (and another 55 he notched on special teams) helped Milton Williams produce the following stat line during his first NFL regular season: 30 tackles (15 were of the solo variety and six resulted in a loss of yardage), two sacks, two pass breakups, and six additional quarterback hits. He then recorded four more stops in the Eagles’ lone playoff game.
Here’s what we haven’t mentioned as often. He was still trying to figure things out.
Entering his second NFL season, things should slow down for him. This is his second run in Jonthan Gannon’s defense. There’s no pressure on him as opposing offenses and their coordinators will expect to see more of Fletcher Cox, Javon Hargrave, and Jordan Davis (and they will). Having Brandon Graham and Josh Sweat on the outside (and having so much talent behind him at the defense’s second level) is a nice feather to place in the cap as well.
The Birds love athletic defensive linemen, and Williams fits that mold to a tee. Like Davis, he ran an absurd 40-yad dash before being drafted, clocking in at 4.67 seconds. That’s pretty good for someone who tips the scales at 290 pounds.
He also produced a sub-seven-second showing in the three-cone drill. He can play both inside and outside. This is an athletic freak in every sense of the word.
As far as statistical predictions go, we’re calling for ten more tackles. That will place him at 40. Figure 17 solo stops and eight that result in a loss of yardage. Go ahead and pencil him in for four or five sacks too. That will do the trick.
Let’s make long stories shorter. Milton Williams is one of those guys we don’t discuss enough. He’s one of those ‘weapons’ that Gannon mentioned. If you’re looking for a breakout candidate, this is a nice choice. Expect to see some fireworks during the 2022-2023 NFL season.