Pros: Has good size and speed. Has decent hips. Is capable in run support.
Cons: Gets turned around too much. Lacks awareness and burst when working in man coverage. Needs to improve his footwork and backpedal.
Overview: In the game I saw him play in, he was abused by Alabama freshman Julio Jones time and time again. He was listed at 200 pounds at UT, but seemingly has bulked up in hopes of moving to safety. Two - year starter that was a JUCO transfer. Had 3 picks as a senior.
NFL Forecast: Willingham, if he refined his technique and footwork could have made a decent option in the nickel. But lacks the upside, hips, and awareness to be much of an option as a starting corner. But with him bulking up to potentially play safety, his NFL future is a bit brighter. He'll have to impact early on special teams since he's a work in progress as a safety. He's not great in run support, but adequate enough to be a backup there. His best hopes are to become a decent dime safety, using his experience in coverage from corner to play the deep centerfield as a third safety on the field. Is not going to be a factor in coverage, and doesn't have the size you want to cover tight ends or quickness to match up against slot receivers. Mainly his NFL future is on special teams with some chance he could be a decent dime safety. But lacks the ideal assets to excel in that role.
ATL Forecasts: Willingham could push for playing time in Atlanta, but it's doubtful he could unseat Hutchins, Harris, or DeCoud as the top safety off the bench. His only real chance in Atlanta is on special teams and unless he's really good there, he'll likely get cut his first training camp. A nice body for the Falcons, but lacks real upside to stick.
Value: Not worth drafting because he's a project, but may be worth a camp invite for some team with a need for a dime safety.
Scouting Reports of cornerbacks in the 2009 NFL draft.
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