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As Leonard Williams' game grows, role with Jets could, too

Damon Harrison liked what he saw in Leonard Williams from the start.

But “Snacks” continues to be impressed with the New York Jets’ first-round draft pick. Williams collected his first full sack as a pro during the Jets’ 23-20 overtime win over the Giants on Sunday, and Harrison was thrilled for the rookie.

“The kid is a fighter, man,” Harrison said. “From watching film, the guy just works every day. He is still learning on the fly. He has a lot of room to grow. He soaks stuff every day from everybody.”

Coaches have lauded Williams, the sixth overall pick in the draft out of USC, for hitting the books and being a student in the classroom. Harrison said Williams is constantly asking questions even at this point in the season.

“He wants to be better and you can see him improving week to week,” Harrison said. “It might not always show on the stat sheet, but the guy is a monster.”

Through 12 games, Williams has 46 tackles and 1.5 sacks. His role could increase with a foot injury to defensive end Mike Catapano, who was seeing more snaps in the Jets’ pass-rushing packages. Now, Williams could find himself playing alongside Muhammad Wilkerson, Sheldon Richardson and Lorenzo Mauldin more on passing downs.

Harrison hopes Williams adds to that rookie sack total.

“I told him, 'About time, finally,'” Harrison said of Williams getting a full sack. “That was big for him. He has been working hard. It was good to see him finally get there.”