No. 4: Tackle, Mike Williams, 1st Round (4th overall), 2002
When it comes to drafting a tackle, it’s pretty easy to tell right away whether or not they are a bust. Quality offensive lineman remain with teams for a long time, while others have their positions switched and find themselves with a new times in a matter of a few seasons. In the case of Mike Williams, it was the latter.
Here is a quick look at the players that came off the board right before him and right after him.
- 2nd – Julius Peppers (DE)
- 7th – Bryant McKinnie (OT)
- 11th – Dwight Freeney (DE)
- 24th – Ed Reed (FS)
The name most noticeable is that of Bryant McKinnie as it was common knowledge that the Bills wanted a tackle and were most likely going to be taking one of them. Williams spent four seasons with the Bills and the biggest issue that he seemed to have was the desire to play football and the ability to play it at a high level. Williams started at right tackle before being moved to left tackle and then eventually guard. Williams never played any of the positions at a high enough level to maintain a starting spot.
Williams left the Bills after only four seasons. He signed with Jacksonville before leaving football for a couple of seasons. He returned with Washington and had moderate success for two seasons with them.
McKinnie on the other hand turned in a Pro Bowl tackle (2009). He played until 2010 with the Vikings before playing with the Ravens for two seasons, and the Dolphins for one. At one point during his time with the Vikings, McKinnie was viewed as one of the best tackles in the league. Without question, the Bills would love to have gone the other direction in the 2002 draft.