Ravens rookie pass rushers Tyus Bowser and Tim Williams didn't get much sleep Thursday night before their first NFL practice.
Bowser and Williams trained together before the draft and were selected by the same team. Now they're roommates at Ravens rookie minicamp and both primed to become Baltimore's next pass-rushing tandem.
It's a lot to be excited about – perhaps too much.
"I kept waking up in the middle of the night because I was so anxious," Williams said.
Bowser didn't help the situation either.
"He was talking in his sleep," Williams said with a laugh. "Talking about, 'Hold on, hold on!' I was like, 'Hold on for what?'"
Bowser and Williams became friends before they became roomies. They trained together at Michael Johnson Performance, the facility owned by the former Olympic gold medal sprinter, in Texas before the draft.
Bowser was chosen No. 47 overall in the second round and Williams was picked at No. 78, one round later. When they arrived in Baltimore, they found out they were going to be bunking together.
While at the hotel, the two talked about the impact they can make in Baltimore together. When talking to reporters, however, they stayed away from any big proclamations or predictions.
Williams was asked if he feels the Ravens are bringing he and Bowser together to be the two next great pass rushers.
"Oh, yes. They are bringing us in to learn from the veteran guys and just learn the Raven way," Williams said. "We talk about a lot, but we know that we have to put the work in first. Nothing is going to be given to us overnight."
"Me and him are just going to go out there and do what we have to do and that is rush the passer and get back there and create plays," Bowser added. "Just having him right beside me is going to be a huge advantage for us going through the season if we make it there."
There's little to no doubt that Bowser and Williams will make it to the regular season.
While the Ravens have Terrell Suggs locking down one starting spot and young, talented rushers Matt Judon and Za'Darius Smith, Baltimore is always looking for more players to get after the quarterback, and will find* *roles for its two explosive rookies.
Bowser recorded 8.5 sacks in just eight games last season as a senior. Williams had 18.5 sacks over the past two years at Alabama. Williams said they have similar playing styles.
"Tyus is a great player. He has heart. He can drop, cover, can play the run, can rush the passer [and the] same with me," Williams said. "The only thing that I can say is that we both have the will to compete. We are not going to bow down [to] anybody."
Before the two prospects came together in Baltimore, they also shared another similarity. Both had to answer questions about their character, stemming from college red flags.
Bowser missed a month of his senior season after getting into a fight with one of his teammates, linebacker Matthew Adams. As then-Houston Head Coach Tom Herman said at the time, the two got over-competitive when playing some "silly games" meant to loosen up during a weekly practice tradition. The scuffle resulted in a broken orbital (eye) bone for Bowser.
Bowser said every NFL team asked him about the fight to get his side of the story.
"I just manned up about it, told them the truth," Bowser said. "We are grown men about it; we are 21 years old. We are still young, we still got more life to live [and] we learned from it. We are still good friends, and we just moved on and are doing what we have to do."
Williams' troubles came away from the field. He admitted to failing multiple drug tests during his time at Alabama and was arrested last September for carrying a pistol without a permit.
The Ravens spent a lot of time talking to Williams before the draft – at Alabama, the combine and a pre-draft visit at the Under Armour Performance Center.
When Ravens General Manager Ozzie Newsome called Williams to tell him Baltimore was drafting him, Newsome said, "Look, we want to take you here … You'll have to live up to your end of this. We've talked a lot about this … We're going to commit to you."
Newsome told reporters that Williams' improved behavior over the past year played into the team's decision to take the chance on him after he tumbled down draft boards.
Williams, who arrived at the Under Armour Performance Center Thursday wearing a sweatshirt reading "I'm A Father F1rst," was asked Friday what motivated that personal growth.
"Just realizing the opportunity that I have," he said. "I have two daughters – I have a six-year old, and I just had one born last month [on] March 16. I just have a lot of stuff going for me off the field to the point that I have to be a role model to those two girls. I owe them everything. I do not want to be that type of father to give them an excuse."
Baltimore's seven-man draft class, 16 undrafted free agents and rookie tryouts got on the field for the first time during a two-day minicamp at the Under Armour Performance Center.