After going undrafted in the 2013 NFL Draft, Nathan Williams agreed to terms with the Minnesota Vikings. Williams was rated as the No. 28 best outside linebacker prospect in this year's draft class by SB Nation's Dan Kadar.
Though he performed well at the NFL Combine, teams may have been turned off by Williams' injury history. What appeared to be a minor knee injury early in the 2011 season turned out to be more serious than expected. Williams missed the rest of the year after undergoing a round of surgeries, and he wasn't quite as effective as many hoped when he returned for his senior season. Williams may also be too much of a tweener for the NFL's sensibilities. His lack of bulk could make him very easy to pick off by offensive linemen.
With Antoine Winfield having moved on to Seattle and Michael Jenkins signed as a free agent with the New England Patriots, Williams becomes the flag carrier for the Buckeyes in the Twin Cities. Perennial Pro Bowler Jared Allen has the right side on lock for the Vikings, and one time Texas Longhorn Brian Robison has a fairly strong grasp on the opposing starting gig. The backups are by no means not challengeable, however.
D'Aundre Reed, Everson Griffen, and George Johnson serve as the backups to Robison and Allen. For Williams, his biggest challenge during his college career was usually staying healthy. If he's able to get his body right and bring the same relentless approach he did on the Buckeyes during his college career, there's no reason he can't find his way on the Vikings final 53 man roster come the end of August – or, if push comes to shove, sticking around on the team's practice squad during the 2013 season.
Weight: 241 lbs.
Hand size: 10 1/8 inches
Arm length: 30 5/8 inches
40-yard dash: 4.88 seconds
Vertical jump: 35 inches
Broad jump: 113 inches
20-yard shuttle: 4.44 seconds
Bench press: 24 reps of 225 pounds
Williams played in 10 games last season coming off his knee issues. He had 39 tackles, 3.5 for loss, two sacks and a forced fumble. Williams' best season was arguably his sophomore season. In 2010, Williams had 45 tackles, 8.5 for loss, 4.5 sacks, an interception and a forced fumble.
SB Nation's Louis Bien contributed to this report.