“I Have been blessed by God with a beautiful and supportive family. My blessings also include my LSU Tiger Family, both on and off the field. It is with those abundant blessings in mind that I have chosen to pursue to enter the 2019 NFL Draft” #BeGreedy pic.twitter.com/pAIq6T4vIN
— Greedy Williams ™️ (@G_Will29) December 2, 2018
Upside was the word that kept being associated with him after signing his national letter of intent. That’s exactly what the Tigers coaching staff had in mind upon Williams’ arrival to Baton Rouge. He redshirted during his first year. Williams was clearly disappointed because he wanted to be like most recruits and make an instant impact early on.
Entering the 2017 season, the now redshirt-freshman was battling for playing time. He was finally beginning to show that upside that he was tagged with following signing day. Williams ended up starting all 13 games. He finished tied for the SEC lead in interceptions with six and was named a First Team All-SEC selection. In only his second season on the field, the talented LSU corner entered 2018 with monumental expectations and he has lived up to every bit of the hype.
Since he locked down his starting spot last season, he has not surrendered it. Starting 25 consecutive games, Williams has now positioned himself to be the next great member from “DBU”, which is considered an illustrious group of Tiger defensive backs.
Awareness – One of the more encouraging traits about the standout corner is his ability to transition from phase to find the ball in the air and make a play on it. Often times with cornerback prospects in man coverage they are taught to play the arms of the receiver instead of turning their head around and locating the ball. When receivers put their arms in the air in an attempt to catch the ball, corners will swat at them after the ball is already within their reach. The difficult part about that is the timing, which leads to many penalties. This is not the case with Williams. He has the innate ability and speed to remain hip-to-hip in phase, all while seeking the ball.
Length – Being that the NFL has quickly navigated to being such a pass-happy league, teams are now looking for defensive backs that possess length. Length causes disruption for not only receivers at the line of scrimmage, but it also minimize the already small margin of error for quarterbacks’ throwing windows. At 6-foot-2, Williams has the necessary measurables to give perimeter options fits in bump-and-run coverage.
Technique / Patience – When evaluating man-to-man corners, it is interesting to see the differences in techniques taught throughout the country. LSU’s reputation and previous pipeline of players at the position speaks for itself. Williams hips and patience are what stands out. Even though receivers make a lot of movements at the line while trying to generate releases, he remains patient with his eyes always on their chest. Keeping his eyes located there allows him to stare at a still target before timing when to initiate contact with his hands or mirroring with his hips.
Ball Skills – Ball production is a stat that will always matter. Some pay attention to it more than others, but it is an added incentive for prospects that have had success with it in their careers. Williams tied for the SEC lead in interceptions (six) in 2017, but his production in that area has slipped to just two in 2018. There’s multiple reasons for the decline, but many teams haven’t been as reluctant to throw into Williams’ coverage because of the respect for him or simply because of the tight coverage on his assignment.
Handsy / Separation Allowed at the Top of Routes – As with most press-man corners, the biggest issue usually lies within their physicality. They are taught many techniques and target areas with their hands. As a result of it, they can become sloppy. This is evident with Williams, as he’s extremely aggressive and competitive. Many times, teams are able to use that against him. He’s a frequent victim to double moves and receivers that are advanced route-runners. Williams is caught hanging onto targets, usually resulting in holding penalties. This issue is correctable, but it may be something that plagues him early on during his career. He tends to use it as a last resort and it’s a panicky habit that he will need to grow out of.
Weight – It’s not hard to notice. Williams has a rail-thin frame and it will be one that he needs to put weight on. With the physical nature of receivers at the next level and with him being so competitive at the line of scrimmage, it would not be surprising to see him struggle some because of his lack of strength and muscle mass throughout his body.
Run Support – A huge concern is his effort in run support. He’s not afraid to tackle, but at times he’s unwilling to do it. His tackling success is inconsistent. Williams is a bit of an “ankle biter” in that he dives at the ankles of ball carriers. In order to become a complete player like many believe he eventually can, he will need to learn how to come up and be somewhat of a threat and a more consistent tackler. Otherwise, teams will frequently target him with certain schemes.
Best Team Fits: Detroit Lions, Tampa Bay Buccaneers, Buffalo Bills, Philadelphia Eagles
The upcoming cornerback class is considered to be very top heavy, but Williams’ name is right at the top. He’s everything that you want in a man-to-man corner in today’s NFL. He possesses adequate length, technique, and upside. There’s plenty of room for growth from him, but just completing his redshirt-sophomore season and being that he will only be a 21 year-old rookie has scouts highly intrigued. In 2011, Patrick Peterson was selected fifth-overall by the Arizona Cardinals — the highest ever for an LSU corner. If Williams has an impressive pre-draft process, he will have the chance to challenge Peterson’s school record.