The San Diego Chargers have quietly had one of the better showings at the 2013 NFL draft, and the team has now addressed another need by adding cornerback Steve Williams out of Cal in the fifth round.
The pick marks back-to-back Cal Golden Bears that have been added to the Chargers roster after bringing in wide receiver Keenan Allen in the third round. While Allen and San Diego's earlier selections in D.J. Fluker and Manti Te'o should all see the field rather quickly, Williams' role is a bit tougher to predict.
He is one of the smaller cornerback prospects in this draft at 5'9", 181 pounds and will have to work his way onto the field.
If Williams is going to get onto the field right away, it will almost certainly be as a nickel-coverage player. He is great at undercutting routes and his speed will allow him to shadow the shiftier-slot receivers that the NFL has to offer.
However, the cornerback competition is certainly open. Both starters from last year are gone, as Antoine Cason has joined the Arizona Cardinals and Quentin Jammer remains unsigned. Derek Cox and Marcus Gilchrist will be counted on to produce, but neither can be considered an elite player.
Here is what Bleacher Report's Matt Stein had to say about Williams:
Williams has a knack for making big plays, recording six interceptions and forcing three fumbles during his college career. He also recorded an impressive 25 career passes defended, which shows he can make plays on the ball.
He is a willing and fundamentally sound tackler in the open field and shows quality physicality for a shorter player. He's also one of the more athletically impressive defensive backs in this year's draft.
Williams played on the outside for most of his career with the Golden Bears, but his size restrictions will be a serious hurdle to doing so again in the NFL. His speed will ensure he finds a nickel/dime role, and he should be the third CB on the depth chart behind Cox and Gilchrist.
It will be hard for him to ever move into a true starting role, but his skill set is such that he can pop up on the stat sheet with multiple interceptions and pass deflections each season.
Williams is going to see the field rather quickly and will be able to make plays. San Diego needs difference makers on the defensive side of the football, and Williams proved he can fill that role during his time at Cal.
Let's look at his statistical breakdown from college:
The Chargers were clearly not looking for an every-down player here, but there is nothing wrong with finding a rotational player in the fifth round.
Expect Williams to have 20-25 tackles and one or two interceptions in his rookie campaign.