Shawn Wiliams, Strong Safety, Georgia
Measurements: 6'0'', 213 lbs.
Projected Round: 3
With all the talk of the Jonathan Cyprien, DJ Swearinger and Phillip Thomas he seems to have gotten lost in the mix a bit. He's a four year starter and a true leader on that Bulldog defense. He called his defense out during halftime in a game versus Auburn and they actually responded and went on to crush the Tigers in the 2nd half. He worked in unison with Baccarri Rambo at FS very well. Seems to blend well into team chemistry on and off the field. Has a knack for knowing where his teammates are on the field which helps in open field tackling. The play against Georgia Tech where he came up on the curl route and jumped in front of the TE to make an exceptionally athletic interception pretty much sold me on this kid. He can cover and will tattoo you with a bruise when making the hit. Crashes the line of scrimmage and will stick his nose in the pile with no fear.
Although he is somewhat of a liability at the FS he is a true Strong Safety in that he is most effective 12 yards in to the line of scrimmage. Will be a solid player in the league for a very long time. A natural tackler, by that I mean he naturally leads with his shoulder when tackling the opponent. That's a very valuable skill to have in the NFL nowadays with players routinely tackle with their face mask and the crown of their helmet then leads to a flag. He's not flashy and he's not a sexy pick like Vaccaro or Elam but you could put him in day 1 and let him grow into the position enough to start week 1. He doesn't seem to be out of control when in pursuit meaning he won't overrun the play and miss tackles. Decent speed (4.42 40) but it's extremely effective in the short area between the LB and the line of scrimmage. Can cover TE off the line and split out wide in the slot.
He wasn't responsible for blitzing a lot at Georgia but I think he could definitely handle those duties. I think he could be there in the 4th or later in the 5th. Assuming Merriweather comes back 100%, he would compliment and work well with him. Williams at SS and Merriweather over the top at the Free on running downs. That way Williams would take the short area and Merriweather could cover the top but also be in position to make plays in the run game as well. Same thing with a Phillip Thomas out of Fresno St. Williams gives us lots of options at FS by being a pure SS. We could move Merriweather around between FS and SS depending on down and distance.
Williams probably won't be a day 1 selection in the draft but with his leadership abilities, instincts, natural tackling and team chemistry building skills he could seamlessly slide right into a veteran team and instantly fit in. He is a football player through and through. 4 year starter, team captain, natural tackler, and the consummate teammate. This player could fall right into our laps in the 4th or maybe even the 5th because he lacks the flashy attributes that a lot of players demonstrate. There are some who think he hurt himself by staying and not coming out last year when he could have been a 2nd rounder but I think it really helped him learn the position better and become much mature. You see him play and you just know this guy will be playing on Sundays. I would love to have him on this football team.
I'm including 2 links, one will demonstrate his playmaking and tackling ability around the line of scrimmage and the other is a little more of a Baccarri Rambo highlight than Williams although they are both featured. I think it shows his ability to work in tandem with his teammates and especially Rambo, who plays FS.