Shawn Williams Scouting Report: NFL Outlook for Georgia Safety

Marques EversollAnalyst IApril 8, 2013

COLUMBIA, SC - OCTOBER 06:  Bruce Ellington #23 of the South Carolina Gamecocks celebrates his touchdown against Shawn Williams #36 of the Georgia Bulldogs with Ace Sanders #1 at Williams-Brice Stadium on October 6, 2012 in Columbia, South Carolina.  (Photo by Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images)
Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images

Shawn Williams

Cincinnati Bengals

Third Round, 84th Pick

Last year's Georgia defense will produce a handful of picks in the first few rounds.

Linebackers Alec Ogletree and Jarvis Jones could come off the board in the first 32 picks, defensive tackle John Jenkins looks like a second-round pick and a pair of safeties figure to go somewhere in round three.

Shawn Williams and Bacarri Rambo combined to form perhaps college football's best duo at safety. Both are capable of making an early impact in their NFL career, potentially coming off the board as early as the second round.



Williams is a physical player. He's not afraid to get into the mix and make a play in the running game—he also packs a punch in the passing game. Williams is among the best tacklers of all the defensive backs in this year's draft.

He does a great job of reading the quarterback's eyes and making a play on the ball. And when the ball is within striking distance, Williams is usually the guy to come up with it. He'll jump, dive or do whatever is necessary to come up with a turnover.

Versatility is a strength of his game. Georgia often moved both of its safeties around the defense to confuse the offense and generate takeaways. Williams could find the field early in the NFL.



While he has solid straight-line speed, Williams isn't exactly a fluid athlete. He has stiff hips which can limit his ability to recover if he makes an incorrect read.

Sometimes his aggressive nature causes him to overpursue in the running game. He's a good, physical tackler but can be susceptible to whiffing against runners with good change-of-direction moves.



As far as height, weight  and speed, Williams has everything teams look for in a playmaking safety. At just less than 6'0" and 213 pounds, Williams and his 4.46 speed will surely be in demand on Day 2 of this year's draft.



There are no known concerns regarding his character. Williams has excellent football "smarts" and is regarded as a true student of the game.



Unlike most college teams, Georgia utilizes a 3-4 defense. Williams was used primarily on the back end of the defense as a traditional safety, but the Bulldogs moved him all over the formation in their sub-packages.


Playing the Ball

Williams does a nice job playing the ball. He's a natural hands catcher with solid body control. He knows when to make a break on the ball and usually times his break very well.


Against the Run

Williams shows great closing speed in the run game. His speed allows him to come up from his traditional safety role and make plays near the line of scrimmage.


Man Coverage

Williams wasn't asked to play man coverage on a regular basis, but he's good enough at it to cover opposing tight ends and running backs in short-to-intermediate passing routes.


Zone Coverage

Williams is assignment-sure with a solid understanding of when he can afford to take chances to create turnovers. He can be used in two-deep schemes and also near the line of scrimmage as an extra run defender.



Tackling is one of the strengths of Williams' game. He likes to lower his shoulder and deliver the big blow but is generally pretty good about wrapping up and making sure to bring the ball carrier down.


Future Role/Scheme Versatility

Williams fits in most defensive schemes. Teams need their safeties to do everything in the present day; be a physical player in the run game, show range in the passing game and, perhaps most importantly, demonstrate solid open-field tackling.

Williams may not be great in any of these areas, but he's a complete prospect capable of doing a lot of different things.