Leonard Williams Likely To Skip Bench Press At NFL Combine

Leonard Williams is still unlikely to fall to the Oakland Raiders at #4, but we keep seeing more and more news that makes it sound like a real possibility.

The #1 draft prospect (and self-proclaimed Raiders fan) is currently preparing for the NFL draft combine at the EXOS training facility in Phoenix, Arizona, but he isn't fully recovered from the pectoral injuries that limited him this past season. Williams racked up 80 tackles and seven sacks with multiple nagging injuries to his pectoral muscles and shoulders, and while he's getting closer to full strength, the upper-body work he can do is still limited. Since Williams may have to choose between doing the brench press hurt (which would risk both a bad result and further injury) or not doing it at all, he's told reporters that he's considering sitting out the exercise.

The impact this would have on his draft stock is minor, but anything that could deter the Jaguars from taking him at #3 is a bonus for Oakland. Tampa and Tennessee are widely expected to pick quarterbacks, and while this could still change, it indicates the Raiders only need Williams to fall past the Jags if they want to add him to their rapidly-developing pass rush.

Williams is still the player Oakland wants, but they're not going to be too surprised or disappointed if he doesn't make it to them at #4. If Williams is off the board, the Raiders are expected to pick either Alabama WR Amari Cooper or one of the other talented DEs in this draft - Mizzou's Shane Ray and Nebraska's Randy Gregory are the top two non-Williams choices.

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