Coming in at No. 18 is one of, if not the best interior defensive linemen in team history. Teams just could not run on Jamal Williams. Not only that, but he clogged things up and allowed the linebackers behind him to make plays, an issue the team has had in recent years.
Williams was the best nose tackle in all of football for many years. Though he doesn’t have the stats that bounce off the page, it was all the things he did to make the team better which stood out.
Just based on how long it took for the Chargers to sufficiently replace this guy shows how good he was. In fact, many would argue that he’s never been sufficiently replaced.
Declared academically ineligible prior to his senior season at Oklahoma State, Williams entered the NFL Supplemental Draft. The Chargers used a second-round pick to grab Williams, one of only three supplemental picks the Chargers have ever made.
He played for the team from 1998 until 2009, making the Pro Bowl three times. Williams was named to the NFL All-Pro team in each season from 2004 to 2006. In 2004, the Chargers decided to switch to a 3-4 defensive scheme when Wade Phillips was brought in as defensive coordinator.
Williams thrived there, performing even better than he did when the team ran a 4-3 scheme.
All of his efforts helped him land a spot on the Chargers’ 50th Anniversary Team and to this day, Chargers fans wish someone on the defensive line could replicate his level of play.