clock menu more-arrow no yes

Filed under:

Joejuan Williams Has Lockdown Corner Traits; Can He Fix The Redskins Passing Defense?

New, comments

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

Tennessee v Vanderbilt Photo by Frederick Breedon/Getty Images

JoeJuan Williams, CB
School: Vanderbilt | Conference: SEC
College Experience: Junior | Age: 21
Height / Weight: 6-3 / 208 lbs
Projected Draft Status: 1st or 2nd Round
NFL Comparison: Sean Smith

College Statistics

Player Overview

Joejuan Williams was a highly sought after 4-star recruit from Nashville. Williams got offers from Auburn, Alabama, Georgia, Florida just to name a few very respectable programs but decided to stay close to home and committed to Vanderbilt while he pursued a degree in economics as well as played football. There has been so much talk of converting Williams to safety in his career. I mean there simply aren’t many corners over 6’ 2’’ and over 200 lbs. For those who are they usually don’t have the athletic skills to stay at the corner position and that’s usually why they are moved. This is not the case for Williams. It is stunning to see Williams move so well for the position, something we haven’t seen since Richard Sherman and Sean Smith were in their prime. Williams has the athleticism, speed, size to play outside as well as inside and his calling card is his physicality. He is definitely a press man corner who wins by disrupting the receiver’s route early and being a pest through the rep. Williams has the physical skills, as well as instincts and ball skills to potentially and eventually be a #1 corner for a team. After receiving All-SEC honors this past season including SEC Academic Honor Roll there is a lot to like about Williams. There is plenty to clean up though as he can be too physical and too aggressive at times. Still, he has a chance to cement himself with the top corners in this class with a solid showing at the combine.

Strengths

  • Outstanding size, length, athleticism and physicality for the position.
  • Gets out of his stance quickly, backpedal is smooth, and he can flip his hips and mirror the receiver. Sticks to his receiver like flies on poo. Does not take the cheese when the receiver offers it, eyes are disciplined and the body follows.
  • Has the length and strength to provide constant checks through the route never allowing the receiver to get comfortable. He always fights for the ball down to the last moment and he has great recovery speed. Effort is great through the contest he’s a highly competitive player.
  • Receivers have to fight and exhibit great body control as he pinches them on the boundary. Instincts and anticipation are good. Can read the QB’s eyes in zone and close quickly.
  • Has the ball skills to be a true playmaker when he turns his head and locates the ball. Shows soft hands and good body control.

Weaknesses

  • Will have to find the balance in the NFL between being aggressive while avoiding being a liability. He’ll be able to get away with some stuff like he did in college but his tendency to grab receivers to check them more than 5 yards down the field has to go.
  • While QBs in college preferred to test the opposite side of the field he’ll get picked on more in the pro’s at least until he can prove it’s a no fly zone on his watch. Needs some technique an fundamental work to get his head and eyes back and locate the ball before he engages the receiver.
  • Not terrible as a tackler but for his size I expected more. I could be conflating him with a linebacker or safety.

Let’s see his work:

More JoeJuan Williams videos

How He Would Fit On The Redskins

While all eyes are on Greedy Williams and DeAndre Baker I would not be surprised if Joejuan Williams surpasses one or both of them in this draft. His upside is through the roof if he can figure out the nuances of his coverage technique I would not be surprised if he had several Pro Bowl and All Pro years in his future. Teams all over the league should not only be smitten with his size but also his skill set and potential as a lockdown corner. Where do the Redskins fall in this? Well, I hope they would be interested given the obvious talent Williams has. Unfortunately I can’t say if Williams would concretely be a good fit or not even though I would love to have him on this team. I do not know about the dynamics happening with the new faces and new structure of the defensive scheme of this team. Given the lack of success the Redskins have had with playing soft zone coverage one might think a switch to a press man scheme would be a legitimate idea. Hypothetically if that is the case the Redskins might not be able to overlook a talent like Williams especially given the imminent departure of Josh Norman. The Redskins finished 18th in total passing defense last year and while that middle of the pack finished can’t all be blamed on the cornerbacks, a lot of it can. The last time the team spent a second rounder on the corner position was in 2013 (David Amerson). The last time the team spent a first round pick on the position was 2005 (Carlos Rogers). The position needs an upgrade, will the Redskins be willing to invest this highly in it?