Arizona takes Dan Williams at No. 26

Big Dan is officially headed to the Big Stage.

And Arizona stumbled into an unlikely surprise in adding the former Tennessee defensive tackle to the cast.

Dan Williams didn’t sneak into the top-10 picks as some experts projected, but that worked out just fine for the Cardinals, who swooped in at No. 26 to take the 6-foot-2, 327-pounder to anchor the middle of their defensive line. Williams had been a candidate to go much higher in the NFL draft on Thursday night in New York City, but trades, his status as a nose tackle in a 3-4 scheme and a few surprises by other franchises helped Arizona land a massive building block for its defense.

“I tell you what, I did a projection on ESPN.com this morning and had Williams dropping to (No.) 26, and that was only because I couldn’t fit him in anywhere else,” ESPN analyst Mel Kiper Jr. said during the telecast. “It wasn’t because I thought he would drop, I just couldn’t find a spot for a 3-4 nose tackle, and when you look at Arizona, they need an upgrade at that position.”

The Cardinals should get it from a guy who did the same with his stock during a breakout senior season for the Vols, getting a handle on his weight and emerging as one of the most difficult blocking assignments up front in the country.

Williams was a load thanks to his blend of strength and speed, piling up 70 tackles, nine takedowns for a loss and 2.5 sacks while showing off a tireless motor and chasing plays sideline-to-sideline. That completely changed the perception of his pro potential, which a year ago some scouts thought was limited to signing as a free agent after the draft.

Now he’ll be signing a guaranteed contract with a sizable bonus instead.

“(The Cardinals) went and they trusted their board,” NFL Network’s Mike Mayock said after the pick. “This is way too good of a football player to fall all the way down to No. 26.

“That’s a great job by the Arizona Cardinals in trusting their board. Now they’ve got a dominant interior presence to pair with Darnell Dockett, I really like what they did there.”

Williams surely won’t have any complaints with their work either, but his wait in the Green Room at Radio City Music Hall was a bit longer than expected.

He stressed all along that he didn’t care who picked him or when though, and in the end Williams still wound up completing a major turnaround by landing in the first round.

“Dan Williams back a month ago I thought would be the 12th pick where Miami was picking (before a trade),” Kiper said. “I think you’re talking about a guy who really elevated his game.”

Now he’s officially taking it to the next level.

Get Copyright Permissions © 2010, Knoxville News Sentinel Co.
Want to use this article? Click here for options!

© 2010 govolsxtra.com. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

  • Discuss
  • Print

Comments » 54

RoadTrip writes:

Congrats Big Dog! You will do well with the Cards.

Georgia_Dave writes:

GO ERIC, GO DAN NFL!!!!!

UTVOLSRROCKN writes:

Thanks KNS, that was pretty quick! Dan the man playing for the Cardinals. Sounds good to me!

nocleats writes:

Phoenix is a sweet place!!

AtLeastMyTeamHasPerfectSeasons writes:

This article was almost as fast as my internet! Go Dan!

SummittsCourt writes:

Great news! 2 Vols drafted in round 1, pretty good I'd say.

secondcreek writes:

Great place to land, on the Arizona Cardinals, a team on the rise.

cloudodust writes:

The best news of the night so far is that neither DW or EB got drafted by Cleveland or Oakland. Fingers crossed for good franchises for MH and yes, I'll say it, JC...

worldwideturd writes:

in response to cloudodust:

The best news of the night so far is that neither DW or EB got drafted by Cleveland or Oakland. Fingers crossed for good franchises for MH and yes, I'll say it, JC...

Too funny - I was thinking the same thing. The Chiefs and Cardinals are much more palatable. A special congrats to Dan, who was the "package deal" for Malcom Rawls in our '05 class. What a great kid...May we have many more like him in the CDD era.

Gator_Hater (Inactive) writes:

One pick left, belongs to Saints. They sure don't need a QB. Hey, do they need a fullback? Only way Te-blow is gonna be a first rounder. Looks like another one of DC's predictions just got flushed down the toilet. Just like Urban's claim that UF would have 3 first rounders. I'd laugh if it weren't so sad.

Gator_Hater (Inactive) writes:

in response to Biggunzz44:

(This comment was removed by the site staff.)

Just...Let...It...Go...

worldwideturd writes:

in response to Gator_Hater:

One pick left, belongs to Saints. They sure don't need a QB. Hey, do they need a fullback? Only way Te-blow is gonna be a first rounder. Looks like another one of DC's predictions just got flushed down the toilet. Just like Urban's claim that UF would have 3 first rounders. I'd laugh if it weren't so sad.

Dude - I would love to gloat with you, but you must have gone to the bathroom - Hayden, Pouncy, Tebow...

Gator_Hater (Inactive) writes:

in response to Gator_Hater:

One pick left, belongs to Saints. They sure don't need a QB. Hey, do they need a fullback? Only way Te-blow is gonna be a first rounder. Looks like another one of DC's predictions just got flushed down the toilet. Just like Urban's claim that UF would have 3 first rounders. I'd laugh if it weren't so sad.

Wow... I really need to pay better attention. Now I feel like a dumbazz. Dang distracting research project...

murrayvol writes:

in response to Gator_Hater:

One pick left, belongs to Saints. They sure don't need a QB. Hey, do they need a fullback? Only way Te-blow is gonna be a first rounder. Looks like another one of DC's predictions just got flushed down the toilet. Just like Urban's claim that UF would have 3 first rounders. I'd laugh if it weren't so sad.

Hate to break it to ya GH but FU did get 3 1st rounders.....and one of em was Tebow.

Gator_Hater (Inactive) writes:

in response to worldwideturd:

Dude - I would love to gloat with you, but you must have gone to the bathroom - Hayden, Pouncy, Tebow...

Yeah I know, was on the phone for an hour, muted the t.v. I'm never gonna hear the end of it from the trolls. That's okay, though. I'm too tired right now to care.

worldwideturd writes:

in response to Gator_Hater:

Yeah I know, was on the phone for an hour, muted the t.v. I'm never gonna hear the end of it from the trolls. That's okay, though. I'm too tired right now to care.

We don't need no stinking trolls!!!

volfan73120#211815 writes:

in response to Gator_Hater:

One pick left, belongs to Saints. They sure don't need a QB. Hey, do they need a fullback? Only way Te-blow is gonna be a first rounder. Looks like another one of DC's predictions just got flushed down the toilet. Just like Urban's claim that UF would have 3 first rounders. I'd laugh if it weren't so sad.

GH, Florida did have three to go in the first round. Hayden 7, Pouncy 18, TeBow 26.

murrayvol writes:

in response to Gator_Hater:

Yeah I know, was on the phone for an hour, muted the t.v. I'm never gonna hear the end of it from the trolls. That's okay, though. I'm too tired right now to care.

Sorry for piling on GH. If this is the worst that happens to you, it's been a pretty good day.

Gator_Hater (Inactive) writes:

in response to Biggunzz44:

(This comment was removed by the site staff.)

Okay, look here you bible-thumping jerk: I don't hate "good white christian athletes." I just get sick of hearing about Tebow. I DO hate thugs like Pac Man Jones. I'm no redneck, I'm finishing two degrees after I served in the Infantry in Iraq. I lost the use of my left eye and suffered a traumatic brain injury when I was wounded in '06. I come from a military family (my father was an O-6 and my sister is an O-4), I have no accent, I don't drive a truck, and I don't go "huntin".

What I do know is turds like you who carry a bible think you have the right to talk down to other people. "Good Christians" are far more cruel to others that are not like them than anyone else I've ever encountered (other than the Al Qaeda pukes I gunned down in Ramadi). You love to point fingers and accuse others of hate, when you should be taking a good look at yourself. I'VE SEEN PEOPLE KILLED IN THE NAME OF RELIGION! HAVE YOU!? Keep your dang bible and your judgements to yourself. People ask why I judge others and I feel it's okay while it's not okay for religious people to do the same. I'll tell you why: I don't claim to be a Christian. I'm not a Christian. I'm a spiritual Agnostic. Therefore, if I don't claim to follow the teachings of the Bible, I'm not a friggin' hypocrite like you. You can follow your religion all you want. I do suggest you should follow it always, though, if you don't want to look a hypocrite.

You know, I made a simple mistake and stuck my foot in my mouth. So what? I called your role model "Te-blow". So what? You can say I sounded stupid, I did, but don't start slinging redneck comments and accusing me of hating someone because of their religion. And to assume that I approve of thugs and criminals, well, that plain makes you an idiot.

I do especially love how you said "white" christian athletes. What if I hated "black" christian athletes? Would you care then? Let me guess, Southern Baptist maybe?

Man. I'm so getting kicked off for this. What I get for being a fan of a team from the bible belt.

worldwideturd writes:

in response to Biggunzz44:

(This comment was removed by the site staff.)

You are the redneck...in a previous article your post referered to Tebow a "good white Christian". You and Tebow and Fulmer can all weep in your jorts.

Gator_Hater (Inactive) writes:

in response to Biggunzz44:

(This comment was removed by the site staff.)

BTW, my life is wonderful. I have wonderful friends, my family is terrific, and my future is bright. I survived something that should have killed me.

And don't use redneck as a disparaging term. That name is reserved for people who work hard outside, hence the sunburn on their neck. How about you call the trashy ones hicks? Or how about you follow the teachings of your Christ and not call them anything at all?

Swaggervolz writes:

Ok why are we talking bout the cry baby... This moment should go to big dan williams because of his hard work and dedication and adding to the list of great former and current vol d-line in the NFL...Congrats man

britt writes:

in response to Biggunzz44:

(This comment was removed by the site staff.)

Dude you need to chill out. Most UT fans have made fun at Tebow. But because hes a gator...not cause hes a white christian athlete. Despite his poor choice of schools most will admit to his excellent leadership and off the field values.

LiveFaith writes:

in response to Biggunzz44:

(This comment was removed by the site staff.)

+1

Gator_Hater (Inactive) writes:

in response to Biggunzz44:

(This comment was removed by the site staff.)

Hey, the Klan called, they said you left your hood at the last rally.

And no, I don't need some thumping. I deliver them, not take them. Also, it was shock and AWE. Get it right bozo. It was no dream, got the scars that prove it. Would be more than happy to show you sometime. I'm no Rambo. I don't have long hair and I don't oil myself up.

You ARE a bigot, and you know it. Don't use Gerhart as an excuse. Everyone knows what you said and how you meant it. White Christians, it seems, is what matters to you. What would Jesus say about that? Man, I bet you still are under the impression that He was white. I've never seen anyone from that part of the world who didn't have darker skin. And yes, I went to Iraq on my own accord. I got tired of seeing 19 year old kids getting killed on a daily basis in a war started by another bible thumper named Bush. He thought he was doing the Lord's work and look where that got us. BTW, what's your excuse for not going? My guess is that you're a coward.

CroKev writes:

Gator Hater, man you need to cool off my friend. First of all, I want to say thank you for serving your country. It sounds like you're a true patriot and I salute you and the others fighting over there for our freedoms. Most of my military friends think it was the right thing to do to go there and fight (you need to give your former commander-in-chief a bit more credit). I've lived overseas for the last 15 years, 5 of which were in war zones so I appreciate the stress in such an environment. Yes, I also cringed when I read "white" in Biggunzz remarks but I'll take him at his word what he meant by that. You and Biggunzz need to save the criticism for the trolls and not for fellow Vols.

johnnyvol writes:

in response to Gator_Hater:

Hey, the Klan called, they said you left your hood at the last rally.

And no, I don't need some thumping. I deliver them, not take them. Also, it was shock and AWE. Get it right bozo. It was no dream, got the scars that prove it. Would be more than happy to show you sometime. I'm no Rambo. I don't have long hair and I don't oil myself up.

You ARE a bigot, and you know it. Don't use Gerhart as an excuse. Everyone knows what you said and how you meant it. White Christians, it seems, is what matters to you. What would Jesus say about that? Man, I bet you still are under the impression that He was white. I've never seen anyone from that part of the world who didn't have darker skin. And yes, I went to Iraq on my own accord. I got tired of seeing 19 year old kids getting killed on a daily basis in a war started by another bible thumper named Bush. He thought he was doing the Lord's work and look where that got us. BTW, what's your excuse for not going? My guess is that you're a coward.

WOW,ENOUGH ALL READY.LET'S BE HAPPY FOR OUR VOLS THAT GOT PAID TODAY.

budd#207344 writes:

in response to Biggunzz44:

(This comment was removed by the site staff.)

except it took a real coaching staff to bring out their abilities

TLepage writes:

in response to cloudodust:

The best news of the night so far is that neither DW or EB got drafted by Cleveland or Oakland. Fingers crossed for good franchises for MH and yes, I'll say it, JC...

you might as well add the redskins to that list.... DC has been a death sentence for players since Mr. Snyder has been the owner....

orangeman1 writes:

in response to Navalorange:

(This comment was removed by the site staff.)

Come on. You act like Fulmer never sent players to the pros. Thats just ridiculous. He developed lots of players to go pro. Too many to list. I think all those who thought Kiffin was doing such a bang up job should reevaluate. UT lost 6 games under Kiffin with apparantly some good NFL talent, and quite a few other really good players that are still on the team. I would have liked to seen how good a season Fulmer would've had with all that talent, but we will never know. Just think of all the players that quit because of Kiffin that could have contributed too. I think the majority would agree that Kiffin wasnt all you make him out to be.

TommyJack writes:

Gator_Hater. Maybe you should just drop the Gator part. Sound like a bitter summitch to me.

RoyaltyVol writes:

Good luck in Arizona Dan! You are deserving of a 1st round pick!

BluezVol writes:

in response to Biggunzz44:

(This comment was removed by the site staff.)

I couldn't agree with you more. Tebow is a fine young man - full of character and promise. All professional sports need more like him instead of the "bling" wearing, w_ore shopping, "gangstas" that occupy oh so many ESPN clips.

orangeman1 writes:

in response to Navalorange:

(This comment was removed by the site staff.)

Ok so you act like Fulmer didnt develop players after 2000 then, which is wrong also. I guess 54 players drafted and 20 1st and 2nd rounders since 2000 is not developing players in your mind, but not mine. Thats not to mention any free agents that signed too. Also what makes you think Williams wouldnt have developed under Chavis last year? He's sent quite a few good defensive players to the NFL. Some times players dont come along as quickly as others. And you are making Kiffin and co. out to be better than they were using Williams as an OBVIOUS example when you really dont know what Fulmer and Chavis would have done with the team last year. And I did see what Fulmer has done the last 6 years, 2 SEC East titles, 3 ten win seasons, and 3 top 15 finishes. So, yea, I think Fulmer couldve done better than 7-6 with all the talent we had and wouldve had if Kiffin hadnt taken over and ran them off.

cooper65#432178 writes:

in response to Gator_Hater:

Okay, look here you bible-thumping jerk: I don't hate "good white christian athletes." I just get sick of hearing about Tebow. I DO hate thugs like Pac Man Jones. I'm no redneck, I'm finishing two degrees after I served in the Infantry in Iraq. I lost the use of my left eye and suffered a traumatic brain injury when I was wounded in '06. I come from a military family (my father was an O-6 and my sister is an O-4), I have no accent, I don't drive a truck, and I don't go "huntin".

What I do know is turds like you who carry a bible think you have the right to talk down to other people. "Good Christians" are far more cruel to others that are not like them than anyone else I've ever encountered (other than the Al Qaeda pukes I gunned down in Ramadi). You love to point fingers and accuse others of hate, when you should be taking a good look at yourself. I'VE SEEN PEOPLE KILLED IN THE NAME OF RELIGION! HAVE YOU!? Keep your dang bible and your judgements to yourself. People ask why I judge others and I feel it's okay while it's not okay for religious people to do the same. I'll tell you why: I don't claim to be a Christian. I'm not a Christian. I'm a spiritual Agnostic. Therefore, if I don't claim to follow the teachings of the Bible, I'm not a friggin' hypocrite like you. You can follow your religion all you want. I do suggest you should follow it always, though, if you don't want to look a hypocrite.

You know, I made a simple mistake and stuck my foot in my mouth. So what? I called your role model "Te-blow". So what? You can say I sounded stupid, I did, but don't start slinging redneck comments and accusing me of hating someone because of their religion. And to assume that I approve of thugs and criminals, well, that plain makes you an idiot.

I do especially love how you said "white" christian athletes. What if I hated "black" christian athletes? Would you care then? Let me guess, Southern Baptist maybe?

Man. I'm so getting kicked off for this. What I get for being a fan of a team from the bible belt.

Thank you for your service, if true, but I have my doubts. You are full of yourself. Christians are people and like all others, make mistakes. I do know that when disasters occur, Chistians are there to help. The S. Baptists you denigrate were front in center in New Orleans, Haiti and anywhere else people needed help. Check how many churches run food kitchens and clothing ministries. The Salvation Army is a Christian organization.

Back to the point--Big Dan. I was really hoping that as he fell into the 20s, he would continue to fall to the Colts at 31 and join another great Vol (Peyton, of course) and be a great run-stopping DT the Colts need. Dan seems to be a great character guy with a strong work ethic. Best wishes to him.

dk writes:

in response to Biggunzz44:

(This comment was removed by the site staff.)

Where are all the big O-linemen and D-linemen that would be Jrs and Srs this coming year? They would have been Fullmer recruits. PF might have gotten a few good players to sign, but he never could develop players the way that he should. That's why he is gone.

Volunatic writes:

in response to Biggunzz44:

(This comment was removed by the site staff.)

Before Fulmer left, Dan Williams didn't stand a chance at being drafted.
One season under coaches who can actually develop a player and he's a first rounder.

Volunatic writes:

Despite the fact that he's a good person, I think the Broncos' first round draft pick was a bonehead choice. (Not that I mind-- I hate the Broncos.)

orangeman1 writes:

in response to dk:

Where are all the big O-linemen and D-linemen that would be Jrs and Srs this coming year? They would have been Fullmer recruits. PF might have gotten a few good players to sign, but he never could develop players the way that he should. That's why he is gone.

Please refer to the post where he had 54 players sent to the NFL and 20 1st and 2nd rounders since 2000, then tell me how that translates to him not developing players. Several quit the team after Kiffin came in and then Dooley so noone knows how it would have turned out. Fulmer is gone because he tried to go outside the box and hire an offensive co. that wasnt "outdated brand of football" some fans put it. It didnt work out because it wasnt the right fit for UT or it wasnt given a chance to work. I doubt anyone can achieve what Fulmer did from 92 to 2001 at UT or in college football in general today. There are just too many coaches and asst coaches that will jump ship for more money if they are good. Loyalty should count for more in football nowadays, but it doesnt. I think UT will never have coaches as loyal as Chavis and Fulmer.

orangeman1 writes:

in response to Volunatic:

Before Fulmer left, Dan Williams didn't stand a chance at being drafted.
One season under coaches who can actually develop a player and he's a first rounder.

Yea, Fulmer and Chavis couldnt develop defensive player????? You people act like a player has never developed in his senior year under Fulmer. absurd

givehim6 writes:

in response to Gator_Hater:

Just...Let...It...Go...

I'm with you GH, guy likes to run his mouth without using any brain power.

orangeman1 writes:

in response to Volunatic:

Before Fulmer left, Dan Williams didn't stand a chance at being drafted.
One season under coaches who can actually develop a player and he's a first rounder.

I still dont know what makes you all so sure Chavis wouldnt have developed D Williams. I agree that he did break out his Senior season, but that happens sometimes. Chavis had 11 defensive players drafted in the last 4 years, and 4 - 1st round picks. I just dont know why you give Kiffin and staff all the credit when Fulmer and Chavis have proven they send lots of players to the NFL. I think it was just Williams time to break out and he wouldve with Chavis of Kiffin

kman29 writes:

in response to Volunatic:

Before Fulmer left, Dan Williams didn't stand a chance at being drafted.
One season under coaches who can actually develop a player and he's a first rounder.

Yeah cause Fulmer and his staff never developed DT's like John Henderson into 1st rounders who later became pro bowl players. lol! Dont understand why some of you try to convince yourself that Fulmer was a horrible coach.

orangeman1 writes:

in response to kman29:

Yeah cause Fulmer and his staff never developed DT's like John Henderson into 1st rounders who later became pro bowl players. lol! Dont understand why some of you try to convince yourself that Fulmer was a horrible coach.

I think its because they wanted Fulmer gone so bad, and they supported Kiffin no matter what, and they want to believe that Kiffin was responsible for something good at UT so they use the Williams draft as justification. Even though the past doesnt indicate that.

givehim6 writes:

in response to Biggunzz44:

(This comment was removed by the site staff.)

No, No my freind going to Iraq was not his decision It was our governments. You being of some learned level of education, [ which I assume you are seeing you like referring to others as low income low liefs ] should know once your in the service where you go for the next 4 to 6 years is not up to you. A note to gator heater sorry for the injuries you received during your time in service. I too am a disabled Vet from the 91' Gulf War my prayers to you and your family my freind.

orangeman1 writes:

in response to RichRollin:

(This comment was removed by the site staff.)

I personally would have liked to see Fulmer given one more season to see what he could do. I think he could have done at least as good as Kiffin, but with all the lack of support and booster donations, and divisiveness it was causing the program, I cant disagree with you too much about it being time for him to go. I will admit that I dont like change much, and I just felt like Fulmer deserved to try to right the ship one last time for all that he did for the program.

AtLeastMyTeamHasPerfectSeasons writes:

in response to FARRAGUT0406:

(This comment was removed by the site staff.)

No spotlight on Rolando? I saw national TV broadcasting from someones house or whatever with 1st a bunch of white people and kids then a couple of minutes later he was surrounded by his homeboys. OK. Guess that isn't a "spotlight" to you.

AtLeastMyTeamHasPerfectSeasons writes:

With all the stud DL drafted this year we should be proud one of our own went in the 1st round!

Go Big Dan!

AllVol2008#1353998 writes:

in response to Gator_Hater:

Okay, look here you bible-thumping jerk: I don't hate "good white christian athletes." I just get sick of hearing about Tebow. I DO hate thugs like Pac Man Jones. I'm no redneck, I'm finishing two degrees after I served in the Infantry in Iraq. I lost the use of my left eye and suffered a traumatic brain injury when I was wounded in '06. I come from a military family (my father was an O-6 and my sister is an O-4), I have no accent, I don't drive a truck, and I don't go "huntin".

What I do know is turds like you who carry a bible think you have the right to talk down to other people. "Good Christians" are far more cruel to others that are not like them than anyone else I've ever encountered (other than the Al Qaeda pukes I gunned down in Ramadi). You love to point fingers and accuse others of hate, when you should be taking a good look at yourself. I'VE SEEN PEOPLE KILLED IN THE NAME OF RELIGION! HAVE YOU!? Keep your dang bible and your judgements to yourself. People ask why I judge others and I feel it's okay while it's not okay for religious people to do the same. I'll tell you why: I don't claim to be a Christian. I'm not a Christian. I'm a spiritual Agnostic. Therefore, if I don't claim to follow the teachings of the Bible, I'm not a friggin' hypocrite like you. You can follow your religion all you want. I do suggest you should follow it always, though, if you don't want to look a hypocrite.

You know, I made a simple mistake and stuck my foot in my mouth. So what? I called your role model "Te-blow". So what? You can say I sounded stupid, I did, but don't start slinging redneck comments and accusing me of hating someone because of their religion. And to assume that I approve of thugs and criminals, well, that plain makes you an idiot.

I do especially love how you said "white" christian athletes. What if I hated "black" christian athletes? Would you care then? Let me guess, Southern Baptist maybe?

Man. I'm so getting kicked off for this. What I get for being a fan of a team from the bible belt.

Good note, Gator_Hater. I hope you don't get kicked off. Don't blame the Bible Belt. It'll be all right. You sound like a good guy.

c9bcc writes:

The Vols have had 6 players drafted, including Crompton. Makes me wonder what happened last year.

Want to participate in the conversation? Become a subscriber today. Subscribers can read and comment on any story, anytime. Non-subscribers will only be able to view comments on select stories.

Features