True junior cornerback Aaron Williams has decided to leave school a year early to enter the 2011 NFL Draft.
In separate statements, Williams and head coach Mack Brown made all of the obligatory respectful remarks about how much they will miss each other. It has also been revealed Williams received a first/second round grade from the NFL Advisory Committee, which was expected given his 6-1, 195-pound frame and extensive starting experience.
Williams is not only similar to former 'Horns Cedric Griffin and Aaron Ross, both top 50 picks, but also to Colorado's Jimmy Smith, one of the top senior corners in this year's draft. Teams looking for taller corners who can handle large NFL receivers outside and support the run will take a hard look at Smith and Williams.
However, the difference between being a first and second round pick may have slipped through Williams' hands throughout the season. He was named second-team All-Big 12 after breaking up 12 passes this fall, but several of those PBUs were catchable passes. Another year in Austin with more consistent playmaking could have pushed his draft stock into the top 15 overall selections.
Now Williams will join NFL teams in waiting for other top junior corners like LSU's Patrick Peterson, Florida's Janoris Jenkins, Miami (Fl) Brandon Harris, and Virginia's Chase Minnifield, to see how he stacks up in this year's class.
--Contributed by NFLDraftScout.com Senior Analyst Chad Reuter