Doesn't have a great feel in zone coverage either. Lacks ideal awareness/instincts feeling routes develop around him, seems to drift too far down the field and struggles to quickly click and close. Looks much more impressive once he sees the throw and has the ability to get his long stride going and range on the ball. Displays good ball skills and coordination when asked to track and high point the play. Is an explosive leaper with long arms and is natural in jump ball ability, boxing receivers out and coming down with the pass.
Is at his best up near the line in press man. Showcases good patience on his jam, doesn't get overextended easily into contact and uses his length well to stay engaged. Is a physical guy who consistently is able to re-route receivers off the line and is tough to gain separation from. Still gets too leggy and upright at time through contact, but is physical enough to stick in the receivers back pocket and close on the throw. However, will lose a step when asked to turn and run vertically down the field. Gets too upright and struggles to get up to top-end speed quickly out of his transition. Is a strider with good recovery speed, but will allow receivers to initially get behind him.
Has the ability to mature into a very solid tackler. Is a strong kid with natural bend and great length. Attacks the line of scrimmage with force and isn't afraid to stick his head in. Doesn't consistently decipher information quickly and will take bad angles in pursuit, but the physical makeup is there for him to hold his own and tackle on the outside in the NFL.
Impression: A tall, long-armed, intriguing corner with good fluidity and straight-line speed for the position. However, is raw with his footwork, struggles to consistently keep his balance and lacks a great feel in zone. Might need some time, but has the ability to mature into a very good press corner at the next level if he wants to develop at his trade."
Williams, a Parade High School All-American, played every game as a true freshman and started one game (16 tackles, one for loss, three passes broken up). His four blocked punts in 2008 tied a school record. Williams showed promise as a full-time starter in his sophomore year, making 44 tackles, six for loss, intercepting three passes and breaking up six. Williams was named second-team All-Big 12 by league coaches as a junior in 2010, even though he failed to make an interception in 12 pass deflections. He had 46 tackles, including five for loss, and also forced three fumbles.
Williams received a second-round grade from the NFL Advisory Committee because of his prototypical height, short-area quickness and a strong ability to knock away passes. However, he does not play as physically as you would expect given his size and must refine his technique. Expect Williams to be picked at the bottom of the first round of middle of the second.
Read & React: Reads routes well and starts to close when receivers throttle down to catch curl or hitch. Sniffs out bubble screens. Gets fooled on double moves and misdirection when receivers and backs sell their routes. Recognizes run immediately in man or zone coverage and gets around the receiver to make the play.
Man Coverage: His size makes him a prototypical outside corner, able to stay with NFL pass-catchers down the sideline. Usually matches up with opponent's biggest receiver. Shows relatively quick feet when in the slot. Mirrors receivers on most straight-line routes but struggles to stop and return on throws behind him. Stays too high in his pedal, however, lets receivers eat up cushion too quickly. Needs to play more physically; usually plays well off the receiver, fails to land his hands when on the line. Gets pushed around too easily, allowing separation outside.
Zone Coverage: Practiced as a zone defender. Comes off of initial target a bit late, but gets to the ball in a hurry once he picks up the quarterback's read. Adjusts to jerk routes and can change his angle on the fly. Gets a hand on passes thrown over his head when underneath. Lacks great suddenness to change direction with quick slot receivers over the middle.
Closing/Recovery: A bit slow transitioning forward to plant and drive, but likes to make big hits and is tough for receivers to escape when he closes. Owns only adequate hands for the interception; picks off some easy passes but drops high and wide throws when in position to make the play. Able to knock away passes by swiping his long arm in front of receivers and winning jump balls. Lacks recovery speed if beaten off the line and does not gain ground running down the field.
Run Support: Solid run defender on the edge. Not afraid to take on large outside receivers and reacts quickly to get around potential blockers to make the tackle on running plays to his side of the field. Gets outside of the blocker to funnel plays back inside, but could do a better job shedding blocks when he's not able to elude them. Takes deep angles to be a last line of defense.
Tackling: Inconsistent tackler who displays the length and aggressiveness to wrap up ballcarriers but lacks great strength. Like to hit running backs on the edge and usually leads with a shoulder. Gives good effort, coming off his man to help teammates and laying out to make ankle tackles. Blitzes effectively due to his straight-line speed and size. Height can be a detriment against smaller, quicker ballcarriers; will leave his feet instead of dropping his hips to wrap and tackle. Gets dragged for extra yardage by stronger receivers.
Intangibles: Showed great maturity working though disappointing dropped punt against Oklahoma last fall. Missed UCF game in 2009 with a right knee injury. Uncle, Ken Taylor, played defensive back at Oregon State (1981-84) and Super Bowl XX champion Chicago Bears.
Body Control: Has quick feet, but doesn't always get himself in position to make a play on the ball. Is a natural leaper, but doesn't always time his jumps correctly.
Instincts: This is one of the areas where Williams will have to see improvement if he wants to stay at cornerback. He too frequently relies on his natural athleticism. That masks his instincts fine in college, but it could expose him in the NFL. Williams has a tendency to bite on double moves. Doesn't always pick up the run as good as you'd like.
Man Coverage: If Williams sticks at cornerback, it will be because of his footwork and size to play the outside. Has quick feet and hips to open up and run with wide receivers. Williams has the size to handle big receivers, but he's not quite as physical as you'd expect. Because of that, he's much better playing in off man coverage.
Size: Possesses the size of a safety and has a strong build throughout his frame. Really knows how to use his size in pass coverage, using his natural length to break up passes.
Speed: Isn't quite as fast as you'd like. Timed at 4.55 seconds in the 40-yard dash at the NFL Combine. Has some trouble keeping up with fast deep routes and doesn't have the elite speed to catch up.
Tackling: Williams is willing but somewhat deficient supporting against the run. He's strong enough to shed blocks and get to the ball carrier but will take wrong angles. As a tackler, he's a above average. Is a grab tackler. While he may not be technically sound in his wrap-up and drive through, he has good enough playing strength to improve here.
Zone Coverage: Has a tendency to bite on double moves when he's in zone. May need to get better at diagnosing a play as it develops. Has timing issue Can get over-aggressive in zone and beaten over the top.
Final Word: Williams has the tools to be an exceptional cornerback. He's big and can be physical. He has good footwork, which helps him in man coverage. What keeps him back is his inconsistency and instinct issues. If Williams wants to stay at cornerback, he'll have to learn to play with more discipline, especially in zone situations."
Williams is quite experienced, having started 23 of the Longhorns’ last 26 matches, and he played in every game as a true freshman. Despite a crowded Texas secondary, he managed to become quite possibly the best out of the three major corners that are all in this 2011 NFL Draft class, including Curtis Brown and Chykie Brown.
If you’re looking for a pure zone corner, Williams is your man. He has great height at 6’1, and his speed and athleticism is more than adequate to compete against NFL wide receivers. He has a fluid, low back pedal and quick hips when changing direction. He does a nice job of fighting for the football and making a play on it in the air, usually finding a way to knock it down. He does a nice job of turning and looking back for the ball (look and lean), and has solid hands. Williams’ instincts are quite impressive as well, as he doesn’t get caught staring in the backfield, and can diagnose plays with ease. He has had above average production, and is a punishing blitzing corner off the edge.
Williams will need to improve in press coverage and his overall abilities in man. While he has all of the abilities you look for, sometimes he will have mental lapses and is sometimes susceptible to the double move. He gets caught out of position at times when covering quicker corners. He has good speed, but not exceptional, and will be better in covering the bigger, slower receivers. He needs to improve on his open field tackling, and learn to break down. Sometimes he struggles to disengage from blockers as well, and could afford to add five to seven pounds.
Williams is a fringe first round player, and is a Top 20 player in many other drafts. He very well could sneak into the bottom of the first, as many corners do because it is such a prime position. The Bears will likely be one of the first teams to take a hard look at him with pick 29, and Pittsburgh will struggle to pass on him with the 31st pick in the 2011 NFL Draft. I still look for him to fall no later than pick 47 with the St. Louis Rams, who really could use a top notch corner and overall help in the secondary.
NFL Comparison: Corey Webster"
Positive: Big cornerback with starting potential for the next level. Displays good footwork in all directions, physical throughout the route, and displays the ability to stay with receivers out of breaks. Jams opponents at the line, slows their release off the snap, and works hard to defend passes. Shows force up the field on the blitz. Uses his large frame to box out opponents.
Negative: Gets tall in his backpedal, does not always play with balance, and lacks deep speed. Loses his sense of where he is on the field in relation to receivers on occasion.
Analysis: Williams been a big-time player the past two seasons and has the underlying skills to be very productive at the next level. He lacks a complete game at this point but should only get better with more playing experience."
Negatives: Production has been all over the board, has not recorded a lot of tackles or an overwhelming number of interceptions (4), but has forced five fumbles in three years... Frame looks a little thin, could stand to bulk up a little bit to match up better with bigger receivers and be a bigger threat in run defense in the NFL... Sometimes turns body the wrong direction when gets beat, is susceptible to double moves sharp cuts... Will take bad angles when tackling, plays fast, but a little out of control at time... Is a good man-to-man defender, but does not play bump-and-run as often as many other corners, will need to polish up press technique to be highly effective at the next level."
2009: Started 13 games at CB.
Strengths: Top-flight corner with all the skills desired at the next level. Good size & physique with long arms. Excellent speed and athleticism. Loose hips and has the ability to turn and run with elite receivers. Excellent closing burst. Breaks up many passes and has the hands for the interception. Very good in run support and is a fine blitzer. Breaks down well in the open field and is a very good tackler. Still has room to fill out. Plays on special teams, and is a good punt returner.
Weaknesses: Only played three years in college, so needs work on his technique and route recognition.
Projection: Likely a first round choice who may slide to the top of the second round, but not beyond. Fine player and person who's best ball is still in front of him. Has the tools to be a #1 lockdown corner."
Williams continues to be a force during his junior campaign, whether it be at the nickel back spot or one of the corners. Through six games he is sixth on the Longhorns with 28 tackles, including 5.0 tackles-for-loss. Williams is not getting the interceptions so far this year, but he has forced three fumbles. Of all the talented corners at Texas, Williams has the most size at 6-1 and 192 pounds and uses that size to lay out some big hits.
The NFL will like his ability to make big plays, but Williams is also a very good athlete who can cover just about anybody quite effectively. He may want to head back to Austin for his senior season and be the leader of the secondary, but if he continues to impress scouts with his versatility and pure skills, he could head to the NFL early and be a first or second round selection."
Not just a stellar cover man, Williams has displayed the ability to be an impact player near the line of scrimmage as well. During his breakout sophomore season the cornerback registered six tackles for loss, including two sacks, while also recording three quarterback hurries and two forced two fumbles. It’s that kind of all-around excellence that have many--including the NFL Draft Bible, where he is our 21st ranked prospect for 2011—talking Williams up as a potential first-round pick in the 2011 NFL Draft should he chose to leave Austin a year early. - Scouting Cornerbacks: Class of 2012
2010:NFL defensive coordinators that place as much emphasis on cornerbacks stopping the run as they do playing the pass will love Williams. Standing at 6’1” and 192 pounds, he puts as much pride on his tackling skills as he does his pass defense. What makes him such a fantastic prospect is that for such a young player (true junior in 2010) he has very refined technique—Williams keeps his head up when he tackles and has a smooth, efficient backpedal. Williams has prototypical length and good musculature, but he is still skinny.
At 6’1” many NFL types would like to see the Texas product check in at closer to 205 pounds; Williams would be wise to hit the weight room in Austin and add a good 10 to 15 pounds of muscle weight over the next year or two. Considering his size, fluid hips and run-stuffing ability are what many defensive coaches dream of in their cornerbacks, Williams appears headed towards the first round of the 2011 NFL Draft, should he declare."
Most glaring on a defense that collectively regressed this season was Williams' lack of production on the ball. He did not nab a single interception this season. He still has upside to improve, but if he were to declare for the draft, his inability to make plays on the ball could keep him out of the first round."
Aaron Williams is probably the best Press Corner in the Draft, for the first 5 Yards: He's got the frame for the job, and he's tough and tenacious at the Line of Scrimmage.
However, the rest of his game worries me. Verticity ~ Turn + Burn Acuity ~ is absolutely vital to a Corner's Game, and he struggles mightily with this. He is neither Fluid nor Explosive out of his Breaks.
And his Diagnostic Skills + Processing Speed also need considerable improvement.
Frankly, I think he's going to have major problems out there...and he's projected as a borderline 1st Rounder.
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