Queenslander Jesse Williams is tipped to be a first round pick in this week's NFL draft. Photo: Dave Martin
Australian prospect Jesse Williams has soared back into contention for the first round of the NFL draft, with some of the latest predictions tipping him to be snapped up by San Francisco, Minnesota or Green Bay as high as pick 25.
The hulking Brisbane talent, who was born on Thursday Island, had been hovering around the fringes of the top 32 but a number of experts now believe he has every chance of being picked up in the opening round, beginning in New York on April 25.
Williams was a key part of the University of Alabama's pair of national championships and created quite a buzz in America after the title game against Notre Dame.
The combination of his freakish strength, mohawk, tattoos and strange accent made him a media darling, with outlets like the New York Times and ESPN running profiles of the 191cm, 145kg goliath, nicknamed 'The Monstar'.
But curiosity doesn't get you drafted, which is why Williams has been working diligently to give himself the best chance of going as high as possible in the draft, which would in turn secure him a lucrative deal that would set him up for life.
If Williams went to the Minnesota Vikings with pick 25, as predicted by NFL analyst Daniel Jeremiah, he would stand to collect a signing bonus of more than $US4 million in a deal worth about $US7.8 million over four years.
NBC analyst Josh Norris has Williams pencilled in at 26 and heading to frosty Wisconsin to join the Packers, where he would net almost $US4 million as a signing bonus and $US7.7 million over four years.
Dane Brugler from CBS has Williams set to be called out at pick 31 by the San Francisco 49ers, which would earn the 22-year-old a tidy bonus of $US3.3 million and an estimated $US6.8 million until 2016.
The draft begins in New York City on Thursday and finishes on April 27. Here's what some of the leading analysts had to say about Williams in their most recent draft predictions:
San Francisco let nose tackle Isaac Sopoaga sign elsewhere and signed his replacement Ian Williams to an extension, but there can never be enough depth in the trenches. Williams is a powerful, stout anchor who has enough athleticism to play either the zero, one or five technique spots for the Niners.
The Packers are one of the more difficult teams to predict. If they want more of a pass rusher along the front three, Datone Jones is possible. Williams offers good athleticism and brute strength. He might not penetrate the backfield on every play, but he can occupy blocks and allow others to run free.
The Vikings could elect to reel in a wideout with this selection, but there will be plenty of options at that position later on in the draft. Kevin Williams is no longer the dominant player he once was; Jesse Williams would fortify the interior of the Vikings' defensive line.