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Could Greedy Williams Be Josh Norman’s Replacement?

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Hogs Haven takes a look at 2019 NFL Draft prospects that could contribute to the Redskins

NCAA Football: Alabama at Louisiana State John David Mercer-USA TODAY Sports

Andraez “Greedy” Williams, CB
School: LSU | Conference: SEC
Experience: RS Sophomore | Age: 21
Height / Weight: 6-2 / 186 lbs
Projected Draft Status: Top-15 First Round
NFL Comparison: Dre Kirkpatrick

College Statistics

Player Overview

Andraez Williams came to LSU as a 4-star HS recruit. A high school teammate of Michigan QB Shea Patterson, the two helped lead Calvary Baptist High to a pair of Louisiana state titles.

After redshirting the 2016 season, Williams quickly made a name for himself, by starting every game his first year, finishing with 38 tackles, six interceptions and 11 pass breakups. Afterwards, he was voted to the first-team All-SEC squad as well as the third-team All-American team.

It’s no wonder he entered the 2018 season as the consensus top ranked cornerback prospect for the 2019 NFL Draft, earning comps to players like Marshon Lattimore.

With such high expectations, Williams’ 2018 might be considered somewhat underwhelming, as he finished with 33 tackles, nine pass break-ups, and two interceptions. More importantly, he struggled in coverage against a variety of receivers when his LSU team faced Alabama (more on that below).

For more about his back-ground, read ESPN’s The tale of Greedy: LSU’s latest dominant DB

LSU Cornerbacks

Year Player Team Round Overall
Year Player Team Round Overall
2019 Greedy Williams ? ? ?
2018 Donte Jackson Panthers 2nd 55th
2017 Tre’Davious White Bills 1st 27th
2015 Jalen Collins Falcons 2nd 42nd
2013 Tyrann Mathieu Cardinals 3rd 69th
2012 Morris Claibourne Cowboys 1st 6th
2011 Patrick Peterson Cardinals 1st 5th

As you can see, the LSU Tigers have an impressive history of sending cornerbacks to the NFL, and this chart only documents those drafted in the first three rounds. Many of which have been very successful once in the NFL. If indeed Greedy Williams is drafted in the first round, as expected, he will become the fourth LSU corner drafted in the first round over the past nine years.

Athletic Traits (Pre NFL Combine)

Williams has a tall, angular build with what appears to be good arm length. Prior to the NFL Combine, it’s difficult to know exact measurables. However, his LSU bio lists Williams at 6’3 and 184 pounds.

When studying his film, I have not noticed the make-up speed I was hoping to find. So, I visited his ESPN recruiting page, which credits him with below average testing in the 40-yard dash (4.73), short shuttle (4.23), and vertical jump (30”). A local newspaper article claims Williams has been timed at 4.2. The truth is likely in the middle.

To me, Williams athletic profile approximates former Alabama/current Bengals’ CB Dre Kirkpatrick, who measured at the NFL Combine at 6’1 (82nd percentile) but just 186 pounds (23nd percentile). Kirkpatrick went on to measure below average in the 40, broad and vertical jumps, but his film was good enough for Cincinnati to draft him 17th overall.

The Film

Williams likes to smother and harass receivers for as long as he can, but will occasionally miss, giving a free release. This was more apparent when watching LSU vs Alabama.

Ok Greedy gets beat on the slant. Not sure how I feel about the effort towards the end. pic.twitter.com/hOYqNZhHpz

— CrockTIME (@eric_crocker) November 4, 2018

The Draft Network’s Jon Ledyard summarizes:

Against Alabama’s host of talented pass catchers, Williams was beaten off the line of scrimmage consistently and failed to finish reps where he had tight coverage. He got grabby down the field and was beaten vertically on a couple of Tua overthrows that could have made his numbers look worse.

For those wishing to see a condensed version of the entire game, here it is.

Here he is against Georgia.

More Greedy Williams videos

Strengths

  • Led the SEC in passes defended and tied for the lead with six interceptions as a red-shirt freshman.
  • Put on an island and was extremely effective going against the best of the SEC.
  • Cornerback mentality. Has the confidence (swag) and short memory for the position.
  • Fluid athlete who can backpedal, turn, and bail seamlessly.
  • When playing press, he is not the strongest, but he uses his length to get his hands on receivers.
  • Has the foundation traits that you want for the position, including height, length, and athleticism.
  • Just a red-shirt sophomore, but battle tested (24 starts) with experience in a variety of coverages.
  • Has NFL bloodlines - Cousin is former LSU and current Bills’ CB Tre’Davious White.

Weaknesses

  • Gives up too much cushion in off coverage and inconsistent press technique
  • Tackling needs to improve.
  • Needs to add more muscle to frame.
  • Loses track of the ball when it’s in the air and his back is turned.
  • Zero career sacks, forced fumbles, or fumble recoveries, and just 1.5 TFL.
  • Left some production on the field in 2018 after a very impressive freshman season.
  • Sometimes appears to be coasting, lacking effort, or trying to protect himself from injury.

WalterFootball has talked to scouts who believe Williams is very overrated. “He’s extremely overrated, just watch the Georgia tape,” said one general manager. In speaking to a director of college scouting, they said this about Williams, “I have him late [in Round 1]. I like him, but he doesn’t have the speed to get an elite grade.”

How He Would Fit With The Redskins

With Josh Norman, Quinton Dunbar, and Fabian Moreau, Washington appears to have a solid foundation at corner, which it fortified in 2018 with a pair of rookies in Greg Stroman and Adonis Alexander. However, if the Redskins are interested in moving on from Josh Norman’s contract, or concerned about the development of their younger concerns, they may decide that Greedy Williams is an option in the first round.

Williams is skipping LSU’s bowl game, but that isn’t expected to hurt him in the eye’s of scouts. For more, read The Athletic’s In no way should Williams’ choice to sit out the Fiesta Bowl be viewed as “Greedy.”

On the surface, Williams appears to have all of the physical traits of a top-shelf cover man in the NFL. He’s got prototypical size, impressive speed, and quickness on film. Plus, LSU defensive backs have historically shined in the NFL. However, as I dig deeper, I see a young, flawed prospect, that may have more trouble than expected transitioning to the NFL.

Young enough, that he could improve to the level of an elite corner with time. For now, he remains technically inconsistent in coverage and an “ankle grabber” in the running game. Williams’ thin frame and questionable deep speed further weaken his hold on “CB1” for the 2019 NFL Draft, but there remains little doubt that he will still be a first round selection in April.