Leonard Williams: Time to step up to the next level

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When the Jets drafted Leonard Williams with the sixth pick of the 2015 draft, he joined a defensive line already stocked with Muhammad Wilkerson, Sheldon Richardson and Damon Harrison.

The Jets reported for the start of their offseason program on Monday and Williams is the only one of that quartet still with the team. Williams acknowledges that the changes up front mean it is “definitely time to step up and take it to the next level,” but that scenario isn’t an anxious one for him.

“I don’t think it applies more pressure,” Williams said, via Manish Mehta of the New York Daily News. “I think the pressure’s always been a factor being a first rounder and coming in and playing with a lot of good guys already. Playing the game in general, there’s always going to be that pressure. It’s something we learn to deal with and get used to and get comfortable with. I’m comfortable under pressure. I trust my teammates to trust me. I trust myself to be a better leader this year and just taking it to the next level.”

Williams has played in every game during his three NFL seasons and has 178 tackles, 12 sacks and two forced fumbles to show for his efforts. That’s likely to lead to the Jets picking up their option on his contract for 2019 and reaching that next level this year could lead to an even longer deal.