Opinion NFL - American Football - News and Views


HE'S the 150kg Australian kid who can bench press almost 300kg and owns two US college football national championship rings.

This Friday, Jesse Williams hits the big time.

"Big" is a word Williams, 22, already knows plenty about, says NFL Network analyst Daniel Jeremiah, but he is about to take things to a whole new level.

On Friday morning Australian time, Williams will become an instant millionaire and one of the hottest properties in US sports when he is picked in the National Football League draft - most likely in the first round.

At 191cm, he is only marginally shorter than AFL goliath Tom Hawkins and NRL superstar Greg Inglis, but packs an extra 45kg of pure power.

And experts predict that if things fall the right way, he's every chance of winding up at one of last year's Super Bowl contenders - the Baltimore Ravens or San Francisco 49ers.

Having won two consecutive national college titles at the University of Alabama, the indigenous Brisbane talent is on the radar of all 32 NFL teams.

And if the handful of metal didn't get their attention, video of those two colossal, tattoo-stacked arms bench pressing almost double his own body weight certainly did.

Jeremiah said he expected Williams - a defensive linesman - to be selected in the middle or late in the first round, putting him firmly in the crosshairs of the 2013 Super Bowl rivals.

"He's got a chance of going in the top 20. I would say probably more likely to go between 20 and 32, but I would be surprised if he doesn't go in the first round," Jeremiah said.

"To me, the team that makes the most sense ... is San Francisco. You could also throw up Baltimore as somebody that would make some sense there.

"At one point in time I've had him going to Minnesota - that's the one I'm kind of keeping my eye on.

"I think those teams have a need to get a younger player at that position."

Australia's path to the NFL is well known and becoming well worn, thanks to AFL-converted punters Darren Bennett, Sav Rocca and Ben Graham.

But while punters are considered disposable commodities, Jeremiah said Williams had the weapons to become our greatest export and carve out a long and lucrative career.

"It'll be millions (of dollars in his first year). It's not going to be double digits, but he'll get a strong signing bonus of over a million bucks," he said.

"This is different when you're a position player. You get a different level of respect around the league and in the media. This is the best chance to really make a name for Australia on the (American) football field."

One man well aware of Williams and his work ethic is his US agent Rick Smith.

Despite only picking up the game in Australia when he was 14, Williams worked his way from little-known Arizona Western College to the No.1 football college in the US during his four-year college career.

Smith knows he's got something special, having watched Williams haul his massive frame 40 yards in less than five seconds at the NFL draft combine.

Smith said Williams growing up away from the harsh spotlight of American football, having played rugby and basketball before taking up the sport in his mid-teens, would hold him in great stead come the draft on Friday.

"It's unique in the sense that Jesse didn't grow up with this and he didn't grow up watching NFL drafts every year," he said. "He goes through it with a little bit of a different mindset.

"He keeps his training regimen exactly where it was. He doesn't get too stressed one way or the other."

Smith said Williams had the rare combination of speed and agility for a man his size that would set him apart.

"You don't find that in everybody. You'll have one or the other in some players, but rarely do you have both, and that's really what Jesse possesses," he said.

"Jesse really wants to become the face of American football over in Australia."


Staff member
Feb 2, 2013
Time Traveller
Oakland Raiders to move to Vegas in next few years. New super stadium to be built.

Makes some sort of sense I guess.

Vegas Raiders ... :)


Well-Known Member
Apr 17, 2013
Oakland Raiders to move to Vegas in next few years. New super stadium to be built.

Makes some sort of sense I guess.

Vegas Raiders ... :)
Vegas has a completely different persona to Oakland.
They will have to make a few changes to any club media hype but if they still want to appear tough they might need a "deadmans" hand on their playing strip.