[caption id="attachment_27086" align="aligncenter" width="410"] Associated Press / Ted S. Warren[/caption] By now most NFL fans in Australia are familiar with 'Tha Monstar', Jesse Williams. Growing up in Brisbane, Williams felt more at home on the basketball court or rugby field, and didn’t take up the sport of gridiron until the age of 14 when he earned a spot on the roster of his local team, the Bayside Ravens. From there his success in the sport in Australia grew until he finally enrolled at Arizona Western College after an initial scholarship with the University of Hawaii was rejected by the NCAA for academic reasons. After Sports Illustrated listed him as the top Junior College prospect coming out of Arizona Western, Williams was offered a scholarship to the University of Alabama where he was a cornerstone of the defensive line that helped them win two consecutive National Championships during his time there. Playing primarily as a nose tackle during his final season for Alabama, Williams was projected by some to be a late first/early second round pick in the 2013 NFL Draft. However his draft stock fell after it became known that he was recovering from the effects of a knee arthroscopy that he underwent at the end of the college season. He was eventually drafted by the Seattle Seahawks in the fifth round with the 137th overall pick. Standing 6’3” and 328lbs, he is the prototypical size for a nose tackle but also has the versatility to play defensive tackle and defensive end. Williams has recently been back home in Brisbane preparing for Seattle’s upcoming training camp where he hopes to cement a place on the 53-man roster. The Seahawks' training camp begins on July 24. Prospects for 2013 Seattle head coach Pete Carroll has already heaped praise on Jesse during mini-camp and OTA’s, but was quick to mention it was hard to appreciate just how good and physical he was without being fully padded up (which will happen during training camp). The departure of defensive tackle Alan Branch during free agency has opened a spot up on the defensive line that many believe Williams fits perfectly, and could fill come Week 1 of the regular season. Initial comments from Carroll after the draft hinted this was the case -- that Williams would slot into Branch’s old position to be a run-stuffing defensive tackle on early downs -- but if there is one thing Seattle loves in its players, it's versatility, especially from linemen. While being notably renowned as a nose tackle in college, Williams played three of the four positions on the defensive line during the Seahawks’ rookie mini-camp and OTA’s, and will hopefully have a primary position locked down during the upcoming training camp. Versatility is crucial in the NFL, and his ability to play nose tackle and defensive end -- both positions he played in college – makes him a near lock to make the final roster. Competition The Seahawks have a plethora of defensive linemen all vying with 'Tha Monstar' for a coveted starting spot. After he was drafted, I took a look at who I thought would be his main competition at the defensive tackle spot, but my thoughts have since changed after following the early pre-season camps and learning that he has also been practising at defensive end. Given Branch’s departure, there is no incumbent at his defensive tackle position, although if I had to give the tag to someone it would be Tony McDaniel who Seattle signed from the Miami Dolphins during free agency. McDaniel is an NFL veteran entering his eighth season and is a big-bodied, capable starter who can disrupt the play quite effectively. His biggest competition could still come from fellow 2013 draft pick Jordan Hill, who despite fitting the nose tackle position and practising there extensively during camp could still be a starter at defensive tackle. With two rookies potentially competing for the same spot it is hard to determine who suits the position better until after they have played some pre-season games. Williams even fits the mould of what Carroll likes in a defensive end, and could very well be competing with Red Bryant for that position (although he would most likely be a situational player if that were the case). A factor to consider when looking at the competition Williams faces for a starting spot is that the players on Seattle’s defensive line play different positions depending on the game situation -- some rotate in and out frequently -- so it's hard to gauge who his main competition is. Having said that, his spot on the final 53-man roster isn’t really in question; it's more a case of where he'll land on the depth chart. Predictions Provided his knee stays healthy throughout training camp and pre-season, Williams has a real chance to be the starting defensive tackle for Seattle. His size and speed gives him an uncanny ability at beating his man from the snap, and his time in college with Alabama practising against its offensive line – one of the best in college football last year – will have prepared him for what he can expect in the NFL. While I don’t know much about his locker room demeanour, his off-field persona is very humble and goal-oriented which should hold him in good stead in a team that is all about humility and respect for one another. Plus, I’m sure they love having an Aussie around. My prediction? Williams will be the starting defensive tackle alongside Brandon Mebane, and will primarily be on the field for first and second downs to stifle the running game. Numbers wise, I’ll say roughly 30 combined tackles, and even two sacks for good measure. More articles on the Aussie players competing for spots on NFL rosters can be found here.