The 2020 college football season is only in its early stages, but a handful of prospects are already elevating up draft boards. Oklahoma State cornerback Rodarius Williams is one of them.
Williams has looked terrific this year racking up five pass break-ups and showing development in several areas while not allowing a single yard in coverage throughout two games.
Williams has played a lot more press this year and has demonstrated improved success using his length and instincts to establish dominance early on in route patterns; he was previously thought of to be mostly an off-zone corner. Williams was never considered an elite athlete, and there are still legitimate concerns about his top-end speed as there are worries about his overall explosiveness. But he’s proving that those issues are lessened due to his strengths in other areas.
Williams isn’t afraid of underneath routes as he has been in the past and has also trusted his technique a lot more this year, playing things tighter and not succumbing to the threat of vertical concepts.
We aren’t talking about a first-round prospect or even necessarily a Day 2 pick here. Williams’ impressive experience—he’s started every single game since his redshirt freshmen season—strong production, and deep bloodlines—his brother is Cleveland Browns cornerback Greedy Williams—makes him a perfect early to mid Day 3 option at this point in time.
Now, it might be a bit odd that Williams is experiencing this mini-breakout so late into his collegiate career—he’ll be 25 years old as a rookie—but progression isn’t always linear. It’s entirely possible that with last year’s top corner A.J. Green gone, Williams has used the expanded role to his advantage and has simply been limited in the past.
All things considered, what you’re seeing now is probably what you’ll get from Williams at the next level, but at the end of the day, his rare four-year starting experience (and the production that has come with it) is something that truly sets him apart from the masses. For a position that is so hard to pick up on the fly, having this extended knowledge and comfort at corner is something coaches will love, even if his physical traits might not suggest he’s a top-level prospect.
Ultimately, if Williams looks anything like he has through the first two games of this season for the rest of the year, NFL organizations—particularly with coaching staffs that employ zone corners— will be chomping at the bit to land him as soon as possible.
- Dec 08, 2022
- Dec 08, 2022