Patriots: Milton Williams could be the steal of the draft if Bill Belichick takes him

Feb 3, 2019; Atlanta, GA, USA; Detailed view of a New England Patriots helmet Mandatory Credit: Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports
Feb 3, 2019; Atlanta, GA, USA; Detailed view of a New England Patriots helmet Mandatory Credit: Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports /

The New England Patriots’ draft plans on the first day of the pivotal 2021 NFL Draft will be extremely important, but Bill Belichick also needs to make sure that he hits some home runs on the next few days as well.

Louisiana Tech defensive tackle Milton Williams might not be a household name, but he could develop into a star with New England.

Williams’ stats don’t look too extraordinary, as he has record 10 sacks in his two years as a starter for the Bulldogs.

However, Williams has been shooting up draft boards over the last few weeks, as his testing numbers for someone his size simply defies belief.

Williams weighed in at 284 pounds at his pro day, but that didn’t stop him from running a 4.63 40-yard dash, putting up a 38.5 inch vertical, doing 34 reps on the bench press, and even benching as much as 500 pounds.

Williams might not make it out of Day 2 after he completely set scouting circles abuzz with his performance. If Belichick wants to find another versatile lineman that can back up Davon Godchaux and compete for a starting job, Williams is the man for the job.

Milton Williams is a phenomenal athlete that the Patriots could develop

Williams is still not only raw, but he’s a bit of a tweener, as 284 is too heavy to play defensive end and, for those lacing Aaron Donald-like strength, too small to line up as an interior defensive tackle. If Belichick can help him add weight, look out.

Williams’ speed was obvious from the very first snap of tape, as he completely explodes off the line, all the while possessing enough upper and lower body strength to shed blocks and pressure the quarterback. He did all this while taking on as many double-teams as any C-USA lineman last year.

Godchaux looks like the starter for right now, but Williams can be weened onto a pro workload by making him a rotational lineman before giving him a starting role in Year 2. He can rush the passer in a limited role, and morph into a starter by the time he puts on some weight and adjusts to the physicality.

With depth on the defensive line and plenty of draft capital once again, Belichick can afford to be a bit risky with his shopping this offseason. Williams is a potential game-changer given his speed and power at his size, and if he is mentored correctly, there is no reason not to assume he will start in this league for a decade.