Round: 3, No. 94 overall
College: Missouri Southern State
Height/Weight: 6'1", 335 pounds
Key college stats: Three-time All-American, 68 tackles, 8.5 sacks, 5 forced fumbles this past season
The skinny: Williams may not necessarily be a big name from a big school, but he has size and can clog the run game from his position. He is versatile, despite his size, which gives the Ravens options.
Likely role on Ravens: The Ravens have now used their first three picks in the 2013 NFL Draft to get defensive players. Williams rounds out the bunch so far, with Baltimore drafting for each other level of its defense in rounds one and two. He will be a run-stopper with the Ravens because of his ability to combine mobility and size at the defensive tackle spot.
The Ravens continued to focus on defense in the third round of the NFL Draft, selecting defensive tackle Brandon Williams from Division II Missouri Southern State with the 94th overall pick.
That followed the picks of safety Matt Elam in the first round and linebacker Arthur Brown in the second round.
In Williams, the Ravens get a 6-foot-1, 335-pound run stuffer who also has shown the ability to destroy the pocket with penetration up the middle. He finished his collegiate careeer with 182 tackles, 25 sacks and 49 ½ tackles for loss.
Williams figures to come in and challenge Terrence Cody for a job in the middle of the Ravens defense.
“He dominated the small-school level, there’s no doubt about that,” assistant general manager Eric DeCosta said. “When you are looking at a small-school prospect, that’s one thing you want to see is a guy that dominates the game and he did that.”
If there were any questions about the level of competition Williams faced in college, Ravens general manager Ozzie Newsome said they were erased with an outstanding week of work at the Senior Bowl, where Williams locked horns with top Division I talent.
“I always knew I could play at that talent and level,” Williams said in a conference call with the Baltimore media. “I just had to prove to the NFL that I could do it. I always believed in myself.”
Williams, a Fenton, Missouri, native, was a partial qualifier coming out of high school, so his immediate choices were either to go the junior college route or Division II. The NFL Draft Report rated Williams as the best draft prospect outside the NCAA’s Football Bowl Subdivision.
Williams said that several teams showed interest in him after the Senior Bowl, and as speculation and interest grew, the Ravens rose to the top of the list.
“I was like, ‘I could be a Raven. I want to be a Raven. I would love to be a Raven. I would love to be on that defense. I know how nasty it is, I know how physical it is. That’s exactly what I feel like I am. I definitely wanted to be a Raven.”
The feeling was mutual. Newsome said that 45 minutes before the Ravens were on the clock in the third round, Williams was the player they hoped to get.
“He was the number one guy we wanted,” Newsome said. “We had other guys that we really liked, that are still on our board, but he was the number one guy that we felt fit an immediate need but also was a very good player.”