Aug 8, 2013; San Diego, CA, USA; Seattle Seahawks receiver Brett Swain (16) has a pass broken up by San Diego Chargers cornerback Steve Williams (27) in the end zone during the first half at Qualcomm Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Christopher Hanewinckel-USA TODAY Sports
Remember our 5th round pickup, Steve Williams, from last year’s draft? A lot of people have forgotten that we even drafted a corner in 2013. I feel bad for the guy, I had huge expectations coming from him last season, but that pesky pectoral tear in the preseason had to ruin all the fun. We drafted Williams last year with our 5th pick (145th overall) and he was going to be really involved in our defense, until he got injured. Here is a little recap of Mr. Williams as a refresher:
Williams played for Cal State in college, the same college as Keenan Allen and they are really close teammates. He is a bit undersized for a corner, standing at 5’9″ and he was projected to be our 3rd/4th CB in the lineup. He also had a very impressive combine in 2013, he posted an unofficial 40-yard dash at 4.25 seconds, .01 seconds away from beating Chris Johnson‘s record of 4.24. Williams’s unofficial time was hand recorded and was mis-clocked by .01 seconds off, so they adjusted his time to 4.42 electronically, which was lame. Check out that dash in the video below.
He also posted a vertical jump of 40.5 inches, which was enough for a 5-way tie for third best in 2013. Judging by these results, his style is pretty similar to Brent Grimes of the Miami Dolphins, he has great speed, and can jump high despite his smallish stature. so he won’t have any problems sticking to his man and sniffing out the football. Some of his strengths would include speed, coverage skills and his ability to bat the ball away and break up long passes. He can pick the ball off, but he doesn’t have the greatest hands in the world for that. It will have be something that he works on. He is still 22 years old. If he can develop into an elite player, he can man his position for this team for seasons to come.
2014 could be a really big year for Williams given our atrocious situation at corner. Our top 4 corners include Shareece Wright, Richard Marshall, Steve Williams and Brandon Ghee (throw in Marcus Gilchrist). It looks like we are drafting high on corner this year to help solidify the depth.
What does this mean for Steve? Easy. The answer is competition. Shareece proved that he can be a decent corner for us to play the outside. Williams is still unproven, he is our diamond in the rough. Now if we can bring in a corner through the draft and that player turns out to be spectacular, then WOOHOO, that would be AWESOME for us.
If Steve Williams becomes our defensive version of Keenan Allen, then we are talking a shutdown secondary. I wouldn’t be surprised at all if Williams becomes our #2 CB, the rookie becomes #1 and Shareece falls to #3. If that does happen, then we will have a great corner group for years to come. He should fit well in Pagano’s system, he is a speedster and Pagano likes to play the corner off of opposing receivers at the line of scrimmage. Steve Williams can easily hunt them down with his speed, and don’t expect his injury to affect his running, he had a pectoral tear. Let’s hope for the best.
I’m rooting for Williams, he had a great career with Cal State and I really hope it passes into the NFL. Check out his college highlights. It will give you a little taste of what he can give us in the secondary this coming year. He looked spectacular.