40: 4.45 (estimated)
Has good hips and burst to turn and run with receivers. Has good size and shines in press coverage. Gets a good jam to jolt receiver back and knock him off his route. Comfortable working and moving in space. Shows good instincts in run support and doesn't back down there. Sniffs out the wide receiver, gets off blocks on the edge, and can make the open field tackle at the point of attack. Has good closing burst on the ball and does a nice job wrapping up. Can make the stop after the catch. Shows potential as a punt returner with good quickness and burst.
Doesn't show great ball skills and can lose the ball in the air. Can give up the deep pass. Needs to add some bulk.
Williams is a good player with top potential, but just may not have the playmaking instincts and ball skills to be one of the elite shutdown corners in the league. He's a physical player that was avoided by a large by opponents the past two years. He plays both outside and slot corner in Texas defense. This past year he started 9 of 11 games, missing one due to a concussion. He finished with 46 tackles, 5 for loss, 1 sack, zero interceptions, 13 breakups, and 3 forced fumbles, which was disappointing considering he was coming off a sophomore year with 44 tackles, 6 for loss, 2 sacks, 3 picks, 8 brekaups, and 2 forced fumbles. As a freshman, he had a pick and 3 pass breakups, but primarily shined on special teams with a school-record 4 blocked punts. He also blocked another this past season. In high school, he blocked a total of 12 kicks. He also worked as a punt returner this past year with 11 returns for 86 yards (7.8 avg) and also for his career had 2 kickoff returns for 53 yards (26.5 avg). His uncle, Ken Taylor spent two years in the NFL as a cornerback (1985-86), including working as the punt returner on the '85 Bears team.
We know Williams can perform on special teams, so he'll be able to produce right away as a role player in the pros. But I think he has the potential to be a good starter, particularly if he goes to a team that likes to play press coverage. He has potential to develop in zone, and has the athleticism you like to see in a man corner. I'm not sure he's going to be a guy that is going to make a ton of big plays and turnovers, but he matches up well with opposing receivers. At the least he should be a solid No. 2 corner, comparable to someone like former Longhorn Cedric Griffin. But he has the potential to be a lot better, and probably will be a guy that is considered to be an outstanding No. 2 like an Al Harris, who his game resembles a lot. He has to potential to be a No. 1 corner like an Ike Taylor or Quentin Jammer that probably won't make a ton of interceptions but is capable of matching up with top receivers around the league. And if struggles transitioning to the pros after a couple of years, teams probably could think about moving him to safety because he's such a good run defender. I don't think it's going to come to that because he'll be a good solid match-up corner that can also produce on special teams. I think he'll immediately come into the league and compete as a nickel corner, and then within a year or two be ready to be a starter. I think his experience playing in the slot, gives him versatility for an inventive coaching staff that in a couple of years once he's adjusted to the pro game, you can use him throughout the secondary. I don't think he'll be as good as Charles Woodson, but his ability to play inside or out, potential to blitz or play safety means that a team could use him much in the same manner as a matchup corner to go up against the best receiver on the opposing team. That's not going to happen right away, but 5 years from now it's a possibility.
Williams is a good fit in Atlanta to immediately solidify their nickel spot. He gives them a tall, press corner that is reminiscent of the style of play of Dunta Robinson on the outside. I don't think he'll be great as a rookie, but he should have his moments as he develops. Eventually as he gets his feet wet the Falcons can move him outside. Potentially down the road he could be the Falcons No. 1 corner, and the guy they could potentially use to shadow opposing No. 1 receivers. But for at least the immediate future the Falcons can use him in the slot, and he wouldn't have to really be a starter until probably another year or two. He offers the potential and insurance to replace either starter on the outside. If Robinson doesn't produce or improve over the next year or two, he could replace him. If the Falcons don't lock up Grimes long-term in the next year or two, he could replace him. But regardless, the Falcons potentially have as good a trio of receivers, which will be beneficial playing in the explosive NFC.
If Williams reaches his potential, he's worth a Top 15 pick, but because he may not be a top playmaker, he's probably a better value in the latter half of the first round.
1-poor, 2-weak, 3-above average, 4-very good, 5-elite
Man Coverage: 3.5
Zone Coverage: 3.5
Ball Skills: 3.0
Scouting reports of the cornerbacks in the 2011 Draft.
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