CHARLOTTE – Carolina signed DeShawn Williams this week in free agency to help rebuild its defensive line under new defensive coordinator Ejiro Evero’s scheme.
Williams, 30, is a 6-foot-1, 295-pound defensive tackle who has played 50 games with 34 starts in his NFL career.
Here are five fast facts to know about him:
1. Reunion with Evero, Capers: Williams played for Evero and senior defensive assistant Dom Capers last season in Denver, playing in all 17 games with 15 starts along the Broncos’ defensive line.
He put up a career-best 4.5 sacks with 37 total tackles, four tackles for loss, and eight quarterback hits in Evero’s system, and will rejoin his former coaches in Carolina this year.
2. Productive seasons in Denver: Williams found his footing in professional football with the Broncos, playing in 46 games across the last three seasons.
In 2020, Williams picked off his first and only career interception (against Cam Newton and the Patriots) in his first season on Denver’s active roster. He put up a career-best 39 tackles in 2021 with the Broncos as a backup interior defensive lineman, becoming a starter midway through the season.
3. Journey through the pros: Williams’ NFL career started in 2015 after the Bengals picked him up as an undrafted free agent, and he spent his entire rookie year on the practice squad. He later landed on practice squads in Denver, Miami, and Indianapolis before a brief stint with the Canadian Football League’s Calgary Stampeders in 2020.
Williams’ first long-term opportunity on an active roster was with the Broncos in 2020, and he earned 11 starts that year.
4. Clemson alum: Williams played college football at Clemson from 2011-14, emerging as a top defensive lineman in 2012 and co-starting from 2013-14. He put up 161 tackles, 16.5 tackles for loss, five sacks, one recovered fumble, and two blocked kicks throughout 53 games in his college career.
5. South Carolina native: Williams tweeted about his excitement to return to the Carolinas shortly after he agreed to terms with the Panthers. He grew up in Central, South Carolina, and attended D.W. Daniel High School, just under 10 minutes from Clemson.