Marcus Williams NFL Draft 2014: Highlights, Scouting Report and More

Ian Wharton@NFLFilmStudyContributor IApril 9, 2017

West defensive back Marcus Williams (25), of North Dakota State, is tackled by East defensive back Ross Cockrell (26), of Duke, after retuning a kick during the second half of the East-West Shrine Classic NCAA football game in St. Petersburg, Fla., Saturday, Jan. 18, 2014.(AP Photo/Phelan M. Ebenhack)
Phelan M. Ebenhack/Associated Press

Marcus Williams, CB, North Dakota St (HT: 5’11”; WT: 195 lbs)



NFL Comparison: Davon House, CB, Green Bay Packers


  • Decent size and strength for a boundary NFL cornerback. He’s willing to use his body to disrupt passes, which helps him play a little bigger than his actual measurements.
  • Played in a total of 56 games, showing great durability and gaining invaluable on-field experience. He spent time in every possible coverage and gained prestigious accolades throughout his career.
  • Roams underneath on deeper routes well. When he has safety help, he can force a tight window for quarterbacks. And if the throw is off, expect a defensed pass or interception. Baiting the quarterback is a great skill to have.
  • Hard hitter in open space, forcing potential receivers and ball-carriers something to think about when in his area.
  • Good ball skills when he’s facing the quarterback. He has good hands and timing when coming back to the ball.
  • Quick feet and sudden movement ability when backpedaling. His short area ability is helped greatly by his feet.
  • Doesn’t waste steps at the line of scrimmage, even when receivers try to use false steps to deceive him. He’s smooth at mirroring the receiver initially.
  • His skills match what zone teams will look for, which puts less of an emphasis on raw athletic ability and more on mental processing speed.
  • Extremely productive during his career, totaling 21 interceptions and a whopping 78 passes defensed.
  • Adds value as a kickoff return man, totaling more than 1,000 career return yards.



  • Played on a much more talented team than any other in the FCS division, so he didn’t have to overcome a lack of talent around him. He could have been a good player on a great team and not a main reason for the defense excelling.
  • Very stiff hips likely push him to safety in the NFL. He’s unable to backpedal and stay close to the receiver, so he immediately opens his hips after the first few yards to compensate.
  • He is too conservative on comeback routes because of his vulnerability to deep routes. His stiffness and lack of top-end speed cause him to play well off in coverage and try to limit the receiver to short receptions.
  • Needs safety help to be effective at cornerback, even at the FCS level. His best coverage is zone or to be put at safety.
  • Run support is poor from bad tackling form and effort. He’s often washed out of running plays because he doesn’t fight through blocks or wrap up tackle.
  • Gets grabby when he has to turn and run with his assigned receiver. His lack of confidence leads to excessive hand usage.
  • Focuses more on the receiver than the ball when he’s running with the receiver. He’s not instinctive enough to be a difference-maker at corner, and that limits his potential at the position.
  • Undisciplined in man-coverage, often trying to jump routes on double moves. He doesn’t have the physical traits to overcome mental mistakes.
Collegiate Statistics

Personal Notes

  • 2014 East-West Shrine game participant
  • FCS All-America Team member in 2011, 2012 and 2013
  • Missouri Valley Football Conference Defensive Player of the Year in 2012
  • University studies major
  • Unranked cornerback as a high school recruit


Ratings Chart

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Marcus Williams has a tremendous list of collegiate accolades and was a very good cover corner for the Bison, but his abilities seem to have been maxed out in college. Because of his physical limitations, he may have to switch positions or be a depth guy for a few years as his technique is coached up. He will likely be battling for a roster spot for the 2014 NFL season.


Draft Projection: 7th Round-UDFA