Add Arizona Cardinals defensive tackle Dan Williams to the growing list of defensive players the New York Giants have expressed interest in during the three-day "legal tampering window" leading up to 2015 NFL Free Agency, per a report from Dan Graziano of ESPN.
Williams, a 6-foot-2, 330-pound run-stuffer is a guy we discussed several weeks ago as a potential target for the Giants. The Giants were the worst team in the NFL last season in yards per rushing attempt allowed (4.9). Williams is a two-down defensive tackle with limited pass-rush skills, but a player who excels as a run defender. Pro Football Focus graded Williams at +13.7 vs. the run in 2014. Williams' 9.1 run-stop percentage in 2014 was seventh in the league, per PFF.
While he has spent most of his time at nose tackle in Arizona's 3-4, Williams is a player considered versatile enough to play in a 4-3. Here is Jess Root of SB Nation's Revenge of the Birds on Williams:
"Williams is versatile enough. He played all along the defensive line in 2014, so I have no doubt he could play in a 4-3 scheme. He is big and is great against the run," Root said. "However, he has only played about 30 percent of the Cardinals snaps since being drafted. He is the guy that always came out in nickel sets. He has a couple of sacks in his career and he would like to rush the passer more, but never is asked to do so."
Williams would seem like a definite upgrade from Mike Patterson or Markus Kuhn at a position of need for the Giants. If the price turns out to be manageable, this is worth keeping an eye on.