Nate Williams, SS, Washington

Scouting reports of the safeties in the 2011 Draft.
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Nate Williams, SS, Washington

Postby Pudge » Thu Jan 20, 2011 2:11 pm

Washington Senior
40: 4.60 (estimated)


A good run defender that is comfortable working in the box. Shows ability and burst to shoot upfield and make stops in the backfield. Also does a good job coming off the corner on the safety blitz to make plays. Has good speed in pursuit, and a good nose for the ball to make stops in the open field. Does a good job coming up and filling the running lane, breaking down, and wrapping up. Has good enough footwork and coverage ability to be able to match up with the tight end. Doesn't give up the big play in coverage and usually not caught out of position.


Limited in coverage and doesn't have the burst or hips to match up against receiver. Will struggle to match up against quality tight ends, and not a guy that is going to make a lot of plays there. Has limited range and awareness when working there. Needs to take better angles to the ball, and can get caught overpursuing on plays. Will miss some stops in the open field, particularly against shiftier backs.


Williams is a good run defending safety that isn't super big, but plays tough and physical. He's limited in coverage and projects to be a bit more one-dimensional at the next level. Had only one interception during his career. Had 105 tackles, 7 tackles for loss, 3.5 sacks, and 4 passes defended as a senior, his best season.


Williams has the tools to eventually develop as a starter in the pros, but that is only going to be down the road. He's a good enough run defender that he can be a capable strong safety. His issues are going to be in coverage. He probably won't be a major liability there, but he won't make many plays, certainly not more than he gives up. The key for him is going to be having a few years to develop where you think his experience will limit his liability there. Overall, he'll probably be a stopgap starter down the road. Teams will like what he can do vs. the run, but because he won't be a reliable option vs. the pass, he'll struggle to hang onto his starting gig long-term. But at the very least he should be a good backup strong safety and be able to stick on special teams. He's really a player that teams should develop as depth, with the hope that three or four years down the road he can make an above average starter. The best comparison to make is to someone llike Eric Smith (Jets) who is good enough to be a nice stopgap starter, but isn't reliable enough or a good enough playmaker to land the gig permanently.


Williams could fit nicely as a reserve behind William Moore in Atlanta. Like Moore, he specializes in playing the run in the box and will be limited by how good a player he can be in coverage. But he would not a canddiate to be a starter here in Atlanta. The best you could hope for is that he has a nice long career as a reserve and specail teams player, and that in time if he was asked to fill in for an injured Moore, he would be capable for a couple of games.


Because of his limited upside, Williams is a player that probably at the earliest should be drafted in the fifth round for a team looking for a backup strong safety that can make the roster and push for a role down the line. But he's probably best going off the board in the sixth and seventh round where he is a much better value.

1-poor, 2-weak, 3-above average, 4-very good, 5-elite

SPEED: 3.0
RANGE: 2.5
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