03-20-2006, 08:17 PM
Join Date: Sep 2004
Would Pats be interested in Jimmy Williams?
I could not access the Sporting News site for an article that had Williams dropping in the draft. I took this post off of the "The Original Herd" board, a Rams message board.
The stock of Virginia Tech's Jimmy Williams, long thought to be the No. 1 cornerback in the '06 draft and a possible top-five overall pick, is in a freefall. And a couple NFL coaches have told us that he is off their teams' draft boards all together.
Virginia Tech's on-campus workout for scouts, coaches and front office personnel was one of the most highly anticipated of the pro-day series. The event took place Thursday, with Williams the star attraction, but results have been kept under wraps. Normally, reports on such a high-profile workout would be out the same day.
Coaches and scouts in attendance have been very tight-lipped, leading us to believe there is great debate about Williams' performance. We now have the first word:
Williams measured 6-2 and 216 pounds, about 3 pounds heavier than he weighed at the NFL Combine last month. He ran in the mid-4.4's in the 40, but what followed has scouts concerned. Williams' vertical jump was only 33 inches, and his broad jump was only 9-feet, 8 inches. He could bench press 225 pounds only 12 times, and one coach in attendance said he thought Williams wasn't going to make it past 10.
It didn't get better from there. He ran the three-cone drill in 6.69 seconds and the short shuttle in 4.10 seconds; those numbers are average for an NFL cornerback. He also was inconsistent catching passes during position drills, meaning he might not be able to make many interceptions in the NFL.
Bottom line: Williams is a big guy who can run but lacks explosiveness and strength. He takes risks and is undisciplined, and he shows poor work habits and questionable character. Plus, he turned off many coaches and scouts at the NFL Combine when he didn't work out and then showed a ****iness and bad attitude during interviews with team officials. After a poor senior season and poor NFL Combine appearance, Williams needed an elite performance Thursday. Instead, he looked pedestrian.
Williams' stock is hurt even more when you consider the current NFL rules governing defensive play. Under the old rules, Williams' big, physical frame and straight-line speed would allow him to play in press coverage and dominate at the line of scrimmage. With the "no contact after 5 yards" rule now being called stringently in the NFL, Williams will be limited to a cover-2 scheme.
Williams has good size, but his cornerback movements are not strong. He doesn't twist well or open his hips quickly and smoothly, and that will cause problems against NFL receivers. The Virginia Tech coaches recognized this during the season and tried him at safety, but he struggled terribly. He lacks the intellect and ball skills to play safety, despite meeting the size and straight-line speed requirements.
Finally, Williams' decision to not workout at the NFL Combine has come back to haunt him tenfold. Had he worked out poorly at the Combine, scouts would have written it off as a bad day and he would have had the opportunity to improve at his on-campus workout. Now, scouts must take his workout at face value and assume he is what he is -- a big, fast player with limited football skills and instincts.
The good news is the '06 cornerback class is not deep, likely limiting Williams' fall to the middle of Day 1.
Williams no longer is the No. 1 cornerback. Texas safety Michael Huff now is the top defensive back in the '06 draft, and Clemson's Tye Hill and Florida State's Antonio Cromartie are the top cornerbacks. Cromartie, who tore three knee ligaments in July 2005 and didn't play last season, had a stellar workout last week for NFL scouts and coaches.