View Full Version : Meet Aaron Williams

03-07-2011, 12:31 PM
http://thenationalfootballreport.com/20 ... -williams/ (http://thenationalfootballreport.com/2011/03/07/2011-nfl-draft-profile-aaron-williams/)

03-07-2011, 12:34 PM
I wouldn't hesitate to take Williams at #31. Even if he does move to FS eventually we need that in about a year or two.

03-07-2011, 03:04 PM
Mon Mar 07

The Second Shutdown 40: #43-Aaron Williams, DB, Texas

By Doug Farrar


We continue the second Shutdown 40 with Texas cornerback Aaron Williams. In 37 games for the Longhorns, the aggressive Williams racked up four interceptions, 15 passes defensed, 97 tackles (65 solo), 11 solo tackles for loss, six forced fumbles, and three blocked kicks. Better in the shuttle and 3-cone than he was in the 40-yard dash (a pedestrian 4.55), Williams excelled in the vertical jump (37 ½ inches) and broad jump (10.7 feet), and his overall skill set has led some to believe that he could make a great move to free safety at the NFL level. That position is more important than ever in today's pass-heavy NFL, but does Williams match the profile?

Pros: Williams closes in well from off-coverage to outside running plays; he's a reasonably sure tackler and doesn't fear contact. Transitions with his hips pretty well, but where he gets the edge is in his sense and ability in boxing out the receiver and using the sideline on certain routes. Zeroes in on screens and keeps the play in front of him - he doesn't get fooled a lot. Has the footwork to play press and keep up with routes at just about any level, though he doesn't have elite trail speed.

Williams has good field sense; you'll see less-experienced corners get lost on their own assignments and neglect to see what's around them, but he always seems to have one eye on the players around him, and he peels off well to help his teammates if the ball isn't going his way. Can crash the edge on blitzes and gets up to speed in a hurry.

Cons: Occasionally tries to arm-tackle; he'd need some coaching on this if he moved to safety. Doesn't have great ball skills; zero interceptions in 2010 despite a decent number of targets. Not physical enough to be a consistent box or force defender. Will occasionally get washed out by blocks from bigger receivers.

Conclusion: People are always eager to transition defensive backs with good size but borderline coverage skills from cornerback to safety, but there are different skills required, and it doesn't always work out. In Williams' case, I think there are specific things that would give him the edge. His excellent field sense might be enhanced by a deeper initial dropback in center field, he closes in on plays without biting on fakes, and he's got some potential as a tackler.

As an Antrel Rolle-type player in the right system (like when the Giants actually ran some three-safety sets in 2010), Williams might make a real impact. If he's taken as a pure cornerback, he might resemble Seattle's Marcus Trufant(notes) - better playing off than in press, and a surprising run defender with the ability to do a lot of things in space (but someone who will get eaten up by faster receivers). Williams isn't a bad corner, but he might indeed make a great safety.

NFL Comparison: Malcolm Jenkins(notes), New Orleans Saints

http://sports.yahoo.com/nfl/blog/shutdo ... nfl-330714 (http://sports.yahoo.com/nfl/blog/shutdown_corner/post/The-Second-Shutdown-40-43-Aaron-Williams-DB-?urn=nfl-330714)

03-08-2011, 12:04 PM
I wouldn't hesitate to take Williams at #31. Even if he does move to FS eventually we need that in about a year or two.


he could easily replace Ryan Clark in a year or so.

04-05-2011, 03:05 PM
Q&A with Texas DB Aaron Williams

Posted April 03, 2011
By Eli Kaberon

This year's crop of draft-eligible cornerbacks is not great, though there are some elite players available. LSU's Patrick Peterson and Nebraska's Prince Amukamara are considered to be the top players at the position and both could go in the top 10. After that, the competition to be the third corner off the board is likely between Miami's (Fla.) Brandon Harris (Read PFW's interview with Harris here) and Texas' Aaron Williams.

Williams, who has been working out at Athletes Performance Institute in Phoenix since declaring himself for the draft, can play both corner and safety. In the 2011 PFW Draft Preview, Nolan Nawrocki, who projects Williams to free safety in the pros, writes that "versatility is a plus" for the former Longhorn.

We spoke with Williams the day after his pro day in Austin — where he improved his 40-yard dash time from the NFL Scouting Combine and impressed representatives from all 32 teams — and asked about draft preparations, social media and ignoring the lockout talk.

PFW: How do you think your pro day went?

Williams: I thought it went really well. I improved my 40 and I thought personally in the position drills, I think I dropped like one ball. Except for that one ball, everything else went good.

PFW: Which part of your game have you been working on since the college season ended?

Williams: I've been working on my backpedals, those have gotten a lot better.

PFW: How have you done that?

Williams: A lot of repetition, going through the basics and going through the fundamentals of backpedaling. Staying low and going into cuts as quick as possible.

PFW: Was it difficult to tell Mack Brown you were going to skip your senior season and go pro?

Williams: It wasn't difficult, he had support for me. I made the decision; there wasn't any kind of hard feelings or anything. That was good and knowing Coach (Brown) will have my back, pros or not pros.

PFW: What are the challenges of not knowing which position you'll play in the NFL?

Williams: I'm not worried about it at all. I'm just really focused on exploiting myself out there to each team to show my talents. Once you figure out what team you are on, then you can really get to the nitty-gritty and figure out if you'll be at corner or safety and you get more focused on the details of what you'll be playing.

PFW: Do you have a preference between safety and corner?

Williams: No, it doesn't matter to me.

PFW: Have teams been asking you about not having an interception last season? What do you tell them?

Williams: Yeah, I had a lot of teams ask that. Basically it was me just not finishing plays. It was just me individually and it was just one of those years that you just didn't know what was going on.

PFW: Who was the best receiver you covered in college?

Williams: I think each receiver has their own special ability. I think the toughest would be between (former Texas Tech WR Michael) Crabtree and (former Oklahoma State WR) Dez Bryant. Those two guys.

PFW: What made them so tough?

Williams: They had size, speed and their strength. That's what sets them apart from the others.

PFW: Besides playing defense, you were also on coverage and return teams. Do you see yourself being on special-teams units in the NFL?

Williams: Definitely. If you're not on special teams your first year or any years, you're not helping the team at all. So I definitely see myself contributing on special teams.

PFW: Do you enjoy playing on special teams?

Williams: I love playing on special teams. Especially with coach (Texas defensive backs coach Duane) Akina, he made it fun and made it a competition. And you have to make special teams fun because not everyone wants to do it, but it helps the team out.

PFW: You're very active on Twitter (@ajwilliams04). What do you like most about it?

Williams: Just being myself. People think just because you go pro your personality changes and you turn into a different person. I just like connecting with the fans, the Longhorn Nation and the people who want to follow me and get to know me better.

PFW: I saw online your favorite movie was "Friday Night Lights." Was playing in Round Rock, Texas, at all similar to what is shown in the movie?

Williams: It was basically similar to that. It was a crazy, hyped-up season. People are expecting you to win, and you just try to have fun and enjoy being a kid. But at the same time, you know that the expectations are so high, you have to go out there and perform.

PFW: Having played high school ball in Texas, can you explain what the atmosphere surrounding the games is like?

Williams: If you've never been to a high school game in Texas, the only way to describe it is to go to the nearest college game and just be there for a little bit and see the people go crazy for their team. And then imagine that, but just a little smaller, and that would be our high school games and our season.

PFW: What would you do if football were not an option?

Williams: I'd go to baseball.

PFW: Did you have a position you played?

Williams: Center field and shortstop.

PFW: How about favorite players, either in football or baseball?

Williams: For football, it would probably be my (older) brother Michael. Just because I've always grown to try to have the same game-style that he did. He's really smart about the game, is fast and quick, has good hands, so probably him. In terms of idols, probably Champ Bailey, who I really look up to, Deion Sanders, Ronnie Lott. Baseball-wise I really looked at Ken Griffey, Jr., Miguel Tejada, Nomar Garciaparra.

PFW: Have teams told you where you might get picked?

Williams: No, they don't give you any of those kind of details.

PFW: With about a month left before the draft, what are your feelings?

Williams: I'm excited. Even though with the lockout still going on, just the fact that when my name is called and whenever there's a season, you're going to go to an NFL team and that's always been my lifelong dream. So to see that dream come to reality is just exciting. And really taking all the process in and enjoying it. Because you know, not a lot of people are in the same process I am, so really just enjoying and taking all the blessings God gave me and enjoying the whole thing.

PFW: Speaking of the lockout, do you follow that closely?

Williams: I just let them handle it and focus on me and how I can improve myself.

http://www.profootballweekly.com/2011/0 ... n-williams (http://www.profootballweekly.com/2011/04/01/qa-with-texas-db-aaron-williams)

04-05-2011, 03:12 PM
I wouldn't hesitate to take Williams at #31. Even if he does move to FS eventually we need that in about a year or two.


he could easily replace Ryan Clark in a year or so.

Ryan Clark running his mouth and bad mouthing the Rooneys after the lock out started may raise the priority to get someone who can play FS.

04-06-2011, 04:10 AM
Is Aaron Williams Worth A Nickel To The Steelers?

I talked about Texas cornerback Curtis Brown the other day and today wanted to focus in on another Texas cornerback, Aaron Williams, in relation to the Steelers. Back in late December, Williams announced his decision to skip his senior season at Texas to enter the 2011 NFL Draft and since then the biggest questions that surround him is if he is best suited as a corner or free safety at the next level. Williams certainly has the measurables of a coveted first round cornerback outside of his 40 time. At the NFL Combine in February, Williams ran in the low 4.5 range, but recently improved that number at his recent Pro Day on a faster track.

His ball skills have also been questioned since the combine, but that too reportedly improved at his Pro Day as well. The Steelers were certainly represented well at the Longhorns Pro Day as head coach Mike Tomlin, Director of Football Operations Kevin Colbert and new defensive backs coach Carnell Lake were in attendance to watch the performance. Another knock on Williams as he enters the draft is the lack of physicality he has shown on film as well as his inconsistency as a tackler. The willingness and aggressiveness is there, but he will need his technique refined and Lake should be able to help him at the next level.

Despite all the knocks and the questions regarding what position and scheme he might best fit at in the NFL, Williams is still regarded as a late first round talent. Because of that, the Steelers might indeed have a good shot at Williams falling to them at the 31st pick, should they stay put with the pick. The Steelers like drafting underclassmen and Williams certainly fits that mold coming out after his junior year. He also has played well on special teams while at Texas and that too would be a plus. The Steelers certainly have a need at both the cornerback and free safety position, so Williams once again could fit regardless of the position they might deem him at the next level.

Williams, if drafted by the Steelers, would be a project, but certainly could see some playing time in his rookie season at the nickel spot or as a dimeback initially. He also should be able to contribute instantly on special teams. The Steelers could have several secondary spots open on the roster come training camp time as starting cornerback Ike Taylor could be lost via free agency and nickel back William Gay is not a lock to return either depending on how his free agent status pans out. In addition, defensive back Anthony Madison and safety Ryan Mundy are also free agents and neither are locks to return in 2011. Mundy saw most of his time backing up the strong safety position when Troy Polamalu was sidelined and Madison saw spot duty at both the nickel and dime spots in 2010. The Steelers certainly could also use depth behind Ryan Clark at the free safety spot and perhaps Williams would eventually be groomed to take over there eventually.

While Lake is new to the Steelers coaching staff, he certainly has walked the walk at both the corner and safety spot in his playing days with the Steelers. He also showed in his one season coaching at UCLA that he can teach today’s' younger defensive backs.

Williams certainly would be in good hands with Lake and should be able to be molded into the same type player over time. His versatility could be useful in the short term as the Steelers look to start revamping the secondary. Should he be drafted by the Steelers, he would perhaps be considered the best player on the board when the Steelers draft, while also fitting a need. That, in my opinion, is rarity when picking down at the bottom of the first round. Although there are certainly some questions that still loom over Williams, I do not see him as a boom or bust pick here. The Steelers always do their homework when scouting and know by now whether or not Williams is a fit or not on the Steelers. Is it at cornerback? Is it at free safety? Only they know for sure.

Perhaps Williams is worth a nickel or in the case of the Steelers, the 31st pick in the 2011 NFL draft.


http://www.steelersdepot.com/2011/04/is ... -steelers/ (http://www.steelersdepot.com/2011/04/is-aaron-williams-worth-a-nickel-to-the-steelers/)

04-06-2011, 09:43 AM
Getting increasingly confident that Williams will be pick #31 if on the board.

04-06-2011, 10:13 AM
Getting increasingly confident that Williams will be pick #31 if on the board.

I really don't like our #1 pick being a "project". I'd rather gamble with the later round picks who have a big upside but need a lot of development to reach that upside. JMHO

04-06-2011, 10:17 AM

No more a project than Timmons was, or Mendy for that matter. Even Ziggy.

He fits what Tomlin & Colbert look for.

And they seem to get it right pretty often.

04-06-2011, 10:44 AM

No more a project than Timmons was, or Mendy for that matter. Even Ziggy.

He fits what Tomlin & Colbert look for.

And they seem to get it right pretty often.

I didn't say he was a project. I just repeated what was in the scouting report

Williams, if drafted by the Steelers, would be a project, but certainly could see some playing time in his rookie season at the nickel spot or as a dimeback initially.

I wouldn't consider Mendy or Ziggy as "project" picks. Timmons was a project and yes, he has worked out well. I'm just not a big fan of gambling with our top pick. I'd rather get a player we "know" will be a solid contributor for years and a good chance he can be a star instead of a player who has a chance to be a superstar but an equal or even greater chance of being a bust. Again, JMHO.

04-06-2011, 11:25 AM
Sorry mate- wasn't supposed to sound like Chadman was having a go at you..

Timmons had 1 years starting experience- as did Mendy from memory- both were projects.

And Ziggy didn't fit a 3-4 DE profile at all. In fact, he was supposed to be a Colts style DT penetrator type.

All Chadman meant was- Williams is no more a project than any of those guys. Big school, good production, good athlete- if we were talking a CB from say, Temple, then you could call him a project. Or a 1 year starter. But Williams is probably more experienced than both Mendy & Timmons coming out of college. Only reason he gets the "project" label is because there is some confusion over him being a CB or FS. It's simple- he's getting drafted in Round 1 or 2 because of the way he plays CB.

04-06-2011, 04:09 PM
It's simple- he's getting drafted in Round 1 or 2 because of the way he plays CB.

I don't think he is a reach at 31, a solid choice, but gravy if we could get him in the second!

I wonder if he played only FS in his collegiate career, how high would he be graded as a safety?

I think right off the bat Williams would, A) he starts in the nickle, it would make defending the spread offenses easier...no more Madsion in coverage! B) makes Allen/Mundy expendable C) starts some time in the safety position due to (knock on wood) Troy and Clark. D) takes b-macs starting role.

04-07-2011, 07:22 PM
Bruce: The NFL Network experts seem to think that Texas cornerback Aaron Williams is more suited to play safety. Any idea what the Steeler coaches think of him and his position in the NFL?

Ed Bouchette: He does not seem like the Steelers type. I like the kid from Miami more, Brandon Harris, and Williams' teammate Curtis Brown would be a better fit for the Steelers.

http://plus.sites.post-gazette.com/inde ... cript-4511 (http://plus.sites.post-gazette.com/index.php/chats/ed-bouchettes-chat/109110-ed-bouchettes-steelers-chat-transcript-4511)

Either or both of Williams and Miami's Brandon Harris should be available if the Steelers remain at No. 31 in the first round. Harris is a little smaller at 5 feet 10, 190, but said to be a bit more aggressive than Williams, who ultimately may wind up at safety in the NFL.

But even if Harris is gone and it looks as though Williams is the obvious choice, would the Steelers hesitate because of their experience with Longhorns?

Read more: http://www.post-gazette.com/pg/11093/11 ... z1IskktEEX (http://www.post-gazette.com/pg/11093/1136354-66.stm?cmpid=steelers.xml#ixzz1IskktEEX)

Ed Bouchette has twice recently questioned if the Steelers would take Williams if he were available. It seems clear to me that Bouchette has gotten this impression from someone within the organization. I don't think he is coming up with this on his own.