Jets DT Quinnen Williams, who was named to his first Pro Bowl and was also a first-team All-Pro last season, cracked the 2023 NFL Top 100 list at No. 40.
This is Williams' first appearance on the Top 100 since being drafted No. 3 overall in 2019 out of Alabama. He's the fourth Jets player to crack the list – WR Garrett Wilson (No. 76), QB Aaron Rodgers (No. 51) and LB C.J. Mosley (No. 46).
Williams, who signed a contract extension days before training camp, set multiple career highs in 2022 with 12 sacks, 28 QB hits, 31 pressures and 12 tackles for loss. He also had a pair of strip sacks and 3 pass defenses. The dozen sacks were 11th-most in the league, second-most among interior linemen and tied for seventh-most in a Jets season since 1982. The 12 Williams QB takedowns were the most by a Jet at any position since 2015 and third-most among interior D-linemen since at least 2016. His 28 QB hits led the Jets and were tied for fourth-most in the league and tied Muhammad Wilkerson for the most by a Jets defender since QB hits began to be tracked in 2001.
"Last year you saw a guy that was healthy, rolling and really starting to learn how we do things," DC Jeff Ulbrich said. "Now two years in this system, in this front, I think he's ready to take another jump. I really do. I see the signs out there of a guy who is so hungry. It's interesting. Some guys get the contract, take a deep breath and kick their feet up a little bit and feel as though they've arrived. We've all seen it. With him, it's the exact opposite. I don't know if he could be more hungry than he was, but I feel that from him. He really wants to be considered the best D-tackle in this league and I think he has an opportunity to do that."
Williams was named the 2022 Curtis Martin Team MVP and became the 12th Jets defensive player to win the award. He was also the youngest (25 years, 25 days) to capture the award since 2016 (Leonard Williams).
"There's a lot of stuff I can improve and every year I say the cliché, 'I haven't gotten to my best yet,' but I definitely feel that way," he said. "There are a lot of things me and my defensive line coach (Aaron Whitecotton) talk about that I can improve. There's a lot of stuff I want to improve and certain things I do on the field that I really want to improve to take my game to the next level, take my game to 18, 23 weeks instead of just 17 weeks. Definitely feel like I haven't scratched the surface on what I can become, what I can do in this career, but definitely on the right path and definitely going in the right direction."
In the Next Gen Stats era, Williams ranks 13th in stop percentage, seventh in stuff rate, 16th in pressure percentage and fourth in sack rate. Williams is the only player among 169 defensive linemen with 1,000 snaps since 2016 to rank in the top 20 in all four categories.
"When you have guys like Quinnen, you're happy for him because of all the work he puts in and how much he cares about this game," Robert Saleh said when Williams was extended. "He's a dominant force inside. When he's playing at his best, he makes it easy for everybody to do their jobs, but not just that, he's the ultimate team guy, and is very coachable. I'm happy for him and his family, he's deserving of everything."