Marcus Williams, Safety, Utah
6’1″ 200 pounds
Key Combine Stats: 43.5″ vertical, 4.56 forty, 6.85 3-cone drill
2016 Stats: 64 tackles, 5 INT (11 games)
What’s to Like: Talk about a ‘ball-hawk safety’… This kid likes to go get the ball… He reads the quarterback’s eyes very well… incredibly young; just 20 years old right now… Very willing tackler who often reads the situation and tackles accordingly… Good run supporter… More than willing to get himself in the fray in goal line situations… 10 interceptions over two seasons… Incredibly athletic and can deliver a big hit when necessary.
What’s Concerning: Could definitely stand to put some weight on; very thin build… He tackles a bit high which often leads to runners getting extra yards before he gets help… Angles of pursuit need serious work… Needs to get his head around sooner on deep throws; can lose his man too often… Works hard to keep deepest man in front of him but ability to turn and run needs work.
The Verdict: Because Williams had a very good combine, he shot up draft boards throughout the league. He doesn’t strike me as a guy who can be a combination safety but rather will be more suited to being a centerfield type. The Steelers largely love young guys (he’s only 20 years old) and they love athletic guys which Williams certainly is. While I really like his vision in terms of being able to read the quarterback, he does not see pursuit angles nearly as well and that’s a major no-no for a guy who is often the last line of defense. Williams is being mocked in the second round almost all across the mock draft landscape but if I’m the Steelers, that’s too high. They must address the EDGE rusher and cornerback positions before looking at safety. If he’s there in the third? It becomes a possibility.
Photo courtesy: Athlon Sports
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