The New Orleans Saints announced a flurry of personnel moves on Monday, chief among them being the signing of former Super Bowl champion defensive tackle Sylvester Williams, most recently with the Miami Dolphins and Detroit Lions.
The 30-yr. old Williams came into the league as a 1st round draft choice by the Denver Broncos in 2013 from North Carolina, the 28th overall selection. He logged 48 regular season and 6 postseason starts in four seasons with the Broncos, including being the starting nose tackle on their 2015 Super Bowl 50 championship squad that is considered one of the better defenses in recent seasons. Williams accounted for 98 tackles, 17 tackles for loss, 5.5 sacks, and 14 quarterback hits during his time with Denver. He left as a free agent following the 2016 season, signing with the Tennessee Titans. Williams was released by Tennessee after just one year, signing then with the Lions to begin 2018. Despite four starts in the first six contests of the '18 season, Williams was released by Detroit, and subsequently signed with the Dolphins to play out the year.
The 6'2, 328-lb. Williams is the fifth 1st round draft choice to join the Saints defensive line. Ends Cameron Jordan (2011), Marcus Davenport (2018), along with Williams and other defensive tackles Sheldon Rankins (2016) and Malcom Brown (2015) make up a potentially deep New Orleans front line that also includes David Onyemata, Mario Edwards Jr. and Taylor Stallworth. Williams will likely compete for the nose tackle spot on early downs, and hopes to solidify the team's interior rotation until Rankins recovers with an Achilles injury suffered in last year's playoff run. He has been a solid run stopper during his time in the NFL, with the capability to collapse an opposing pass pocket and provide interior pressure.