Leonard Williams came into the NFL with high expectations when the Jets made him the sixth overall pick in 2015 and Williams moved right into their starting lineup as a rookie.
While Williams was a fixture in the lineup, he never became the kind of disruptive force that the Jets hoped he would be and they traded him to the Giants in the middle of the 2019 season. Williams’ play didn’t take off by switching locker rooms at MetLife Stadium and he’s looking to a retired defensive lineman for help as he heads toward free agency this offseason.
Williams reached out to former Patriots and Raiders star Richard Seymour, who said Williams has “all the tools for what it takes to be great” and can be a perennial All-Pro if they’re harnessed correctly. That’s why Seymour is working with Williams “to develop a mentality” to go with those tools.
“I respect the hard work of guys that come in the fourth, fifth, sixth, seventh round, but it’s different when you are the guy and have to perform at that level, basically with a target on your back the whole time and live up to that. And exceed expectations,” Seymour said, via Mike Reiss of ESPN.com. “I’ve been telling him, it’s really about competition. Competing. And hanging around and being around people who have the same mindset, being in that environment all the time. It helps in terms of what you’re trying to accomplish.”
The Giants dealt a 2020 third-round pick and a conditional 2021 selection to the Jets for Williams. If they re-sign Williams, it will be a fourth-round pick and it will be a fifth-rounder if he heads to another team.