Williams sits atop ESPN's list of top 150 free agents, which was compiled by ESPN's experts and is based on the market value for players (and not how they did on the field in 2016).
Once considered an underrated player for never reaching the Pro Bowl, Williams ranks higher than linebacker Dont'a Hightower, wide receiver Alshon Jeffery, defensive end Calais Campbell and defensive tackle Dontari Poe on ESPN's list. He has established himself as one of the league's best run-stoppers, and Baltimore has given up the third-fewest rushing yards (93.8 per game) since he became a starter in 2014.
Williams is projected to receive a four-year, $38 million deal, according to ESPN's John Clayton. The average of $9.5 million per season would make him the 10th-highest paid defensive tackle in the NFL.
Throughout the offseason, Williams repeatedly ranked among the top-10 free agents available. But he moved up the list after seven players -- which included running back Le'Veon Bell, defensive end Chandler Jones and defensive tackle Kawann Short -- received the franchise tag.
This is impressive recognition for Williams, a Division II player out of Missouri Southern State who was the 94th player drafted four years ago.