Sylvester Williams
refer to caption
Williams with the Denver Broncos in 2014
Personal information
Born: (1988-11-21) November 21, 1988 (age 34)
St. Louis, Missouri
Height:6 ft 3 in (1.91 m)
Weight:328 lb (149 kg)
Career information
High school:Jefferson City (MO)
Position:Defensive end
NFL Draft:2013 / Round: 1 / Pick: 28
Career history
 * Offseason and/or practice squad member only
Career highlights and awards
Career NFL statistics as of 2021
Total tackles:136
Forced fumbles:0
Fumble recoveries:1
Pass deflections:5
Player stats at

Sylvester Williams Jr. (born November 21, 1988) is an American football defensive end who is currently a free agent. He was drafted by the Broncos in the first round of the 2013 NFL Draft. He played college football at North Carolina, where he earned All-American honors.

Early years

Williams was born in St Louis, Missouri, into a family with three older sisters and one younger brother.[1] He attended Jefferson City High School, and played football for only one season in high school, and started only one game. Not being recruited by college programs, he assembled radiator parts for large combines before deciding to walk-on at Coffeyville Community College.[2] He had 52 tackles and two sacks in 2010.

College career

Williams transferred to the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill in 2011, and played for the North Carolina Tar Heels football team in 2011 and 2012. As a junior in 2011, he had 43 tackles and 2.5 sacks.[1] The following season, Williams was named to the All-ACC first team.[3] He was also named an All-American by Pro Football Weekly.[4]

Professional career

Coming out of North Carolina, Williams was a projected first round pick by the majority of NFL draft experts and analysts. He attended the NFL combine and completed all of the required combine and positional drills. On March 26, 2013, Williams participated at North Carolina's pro day, along with Jonathan Cooper, Giovani Bernard, Brennan Williams, Travis Bond, Kevin Reddick, and nine other teammates, and opted to only perform positional drills for scouts and team representatives in attendance.[5] Williams was ranked the fourth best defensive tackle prospect in the draft by, NFL analyst Mike Mayock, and Sports Illustrated (behind Sharrif Floyd, Sheldon Richardson, and Star Lotulelei).[6][7][8]

Pre-draft measurables
Height Weight Arm length Hand span 40-yard dash 10-yard split 20-yard split 20-yard shuttle Three-cone drill Vertical jump Broad jump Bench press
6 ft 2+58 in
(1.90 m)
313 lb
(142 kg)
33+12 in
(0.85 m)
10+34 in
(0.27 m)
5.03 s 1.76 s 2.91 s 4.80 s 7.93 s 26+12 in
(0.67 m)
8 ft 6 in
(2.59 m)
27 reps
All values from NFL combine[9]

Denver Broncos

The Denver Broncos selected Williams in the first round (28th overall pick) of the 2013 NFL Draft.[10] He recorded his first career sack on December 12, 2013 in a loss to the San Diego Chargers. He had another sack the following week against the Houston Texans. On December 29, Oakland Raiders quarterback Terrelle Pryor bobbled a snap and Williams recovered it. As a rookie in 2013, Williams played 13 games with 22 tackles, 2 sacks, and a fumble recovery. The Broncos finished the season with a 13-3 record, clinching an AFC West and home field advantage throughout the playoffs, but lost to the Seattle Seahawks by a score of 43-8 in Super Bowl XLVIII.

In the 2014 season, Williams played all 16 games, started 13 of them, making 22 tackles and a pass defended. The Broncos finished with a 12-4 record, clinching the 2nd seed and another AFC West pennant, but were defeated 24-13 by the Indianapolis Colts in the AFC Divisional Round.

In the 2015 season, Williams started 15 games with 25 tackles and 2.5 sacks. The Broncos finished the season with a 12-4 record, clinching another AFC West pennant. The Broncos defense was ranked #1 in the NFL in the 2015 year. On February 7, 2016, Williams was part of the Broncos team that won Super Bowl 50. In the game, the Broncos defeated the Carolina Panthers by a score of 24–10.[11] In the Super Bowl, Williams recorded two tackles and defended a pass.[12] The Broncos won the game by a score of 24–10, giving Williams his first career championship title after defeating the Carolina Panthers.[13] It was also the first time in 17 years and third time in franchise history the Broncos won the Super Bowl.[14]

Tennessee Titans

On March 10, 2017, Williams signed a three-year contract with the Tennessee Titans.[15]

On March 17, 2018, Williams was released by the Titans.[16]

Detroit Lions

On March 21, 2018, Williams signed a one-year contract with the Detroit Lions.[17] He played in six games with four starts before being released on October 25, 2018.[18]

Miami Dolphins

On October 31, 2018, Williams was signed by the Miami Dolphins.[19]

New Orleans Saints

On May 13, 2019, Williams signed with the New Orleans Saints.[20] He was released on August 31, 2019.[21]

Los Angeles Chargers

On October 23, 2019, Williams was signed by the Los Angeles Chargers.[22]

Denver Broncos (second stint)

On October 3, 2020, Williams was signed to the Denver Broncos practice squad.[23] He was promoted to the active roster on October 17, 2020.[24] He was released on October 23,[25] and re-signed to the practice squad the next day.[26] He was promoted back to the active roster on October 27.[27]


  1. ^ a b "Sylvester Williams Biography" Archived January 31, 2013, at the Wayback Machine. Retrieved February 14, 2013.
  2. ^ "Weight presents double-edged sword for linemen prospects". Sports Illustrated. April 3, 2013.
  3. ^ "Sylvester Williams". Retrieved February 14, 2013.
  4. ^ Nawrocki, Nolan. "PFW 2012 All-America team" Archived December 15, 2012, at the Wayback Machine. December 11, 2012. Retrieved February 14, 2013.
  5. ^ "2013 NFL Draft Central". Retrieved October 22, 2017.
  6. ^ Mike Mayock (April 21, 2013). "2013 NFL Draft: Mike Mayock's top 100 prospects". Retrieved October 22, 2017.
  7. ^ Chris Burke (March 26, 2013). "2013 NFL Draft Position Rankings: Defense". Retrieved October 22, 2017.
  8. ^ "Sylvester Williams, DS #4 DT, North Carolina". Retrieved October 22, 2017.
  9. ^ "NFL Draft Profile: Sylvester Williams". Retrieved October 22, 2017.
  10. ^ Klis, Mike. "DT Sylvester Williams is Denver Broncos' pick at No. 28 of 2013 NFL draft". April 25, 2013. Retrieved April 26, 2013.
  11. ^ "Super Bowl 50 - Denver Broncos vs. Carolina Panthers - February 7th, 2016". Retrieved August 31, 2017.
  12. ^ "Super Bowl 50 - National Football League Game Summary" (PDF). Retrieved August 7, 2017.
  13. ^ "Super Bowl 50 - Denver Broncos vs. Carolina Panthers - February 7th, 2016". Retrieved August 7, 2017.
  14. ^ Rosenthal, Gregg. "Denver Broncos win Super Bowl 50". NFL. Retrieved February 7, 2016.
  15. ^ "Titans Agree to Terms with DL Sylvester Williams". March 14, 2017.
  16. ^ Wyatt, Jim (March 17, 2018). "Titans Plan to Release Defensive Lineman Sylvester Williams".
  17. ^ "Lions sign free agent DT Sylvester Williams". March 21, 2018.
  18. ^ "Lions announce trade for Damon Harrison, release Sylvester Williams". Lions Wire. USA Today. October 25, 2018.
  19. ^ "Dolphins Sign Ziggy Hood & Sylvester Williams, Activate Mike Hull". October 31, 2018.
  20. ^ "Saints Announce Roster Moves Following Rookie Minicamp". May 13, 2019.
  21. ^ "New Orleans Saints make roster reductions to 53". August 31, 2019.
  22. ^ "Forrest Lamp Placed on Injured Reserve". October 23, 2019.
  23. ^ DiLalla, Aric (October 3, 2020). "Broncos sign Sylvester Williams, Darius Kilgo to practice squad".
  24. ^ DiLalla, Aric (October 17, 2020). "Broncos promote DL Sylvester Williams to active roster, release QB Blake Bortles".
  25. ^ "Sylvester Williams: Cut by Broncos". October 23, 2020. Retrieved November 5, 2020.
  26. ^ "Broncos activate Bouye, Jones, Walker off injured reserve". October 24, 2020. Retrieved November 5, 2020.
  27. ^ "Broncos' Sylvester Williams: Rises to active roster". October 27, 2020. Retrieved November 5, 2020.