Greedy Williams is arguably one of the most talented cornerbacks in this year's draft.
He’s 6-foot-2, 185 pounds, and has the length and press-man coverage ability teams like in their outside cornerbacks. For a team like the Detroit Lions, who play a lot of man coverage, those are desirable skills.
Williams isn’t without his question marks, however, and one of those could ultimately be a sticking point with the Lions and other teams in their evaluation of Williams.
“Greedy Williams was tough for me, maybe one of the – literally I would say if not the toughest, one of the three toughest evaluations for me in the whole draft because I see the height, I see the length, I see the ball skills and the overall athleticism, which I really, really like,” NFL Network analyst Daniel Jeremiah said of Williams. “He's fluid, he's smooth. I just – from a short area, that short area quickness you want to see, and some of that feistiness, I don't really see that as much as I'd like to see.
“Against the run ... he hasn't been good. He's a liability against the run. So not having kind of that physicality, a little bit more of an edge to him, that's my concern as well as some of that kind of short-area explosiveness.”
Jeremiah said teams he’s talked to across the league are all over the map with Williams, making him a polarizing player in this draft.
Lions head coach Matt Patricia values cornerbacks that not only can cover, but also play physical and support the run. Darius Slay and Nevin Lawson, Detroit’s main starters on the outside at cornerback the last couple seasons, don’t mind coming up and making a hit.
“I put a high priority on tackling just in general for our team and I don’t think we can change that depending on whatever position it is, but you’ve got to find the right balance because obviously the biggest thing they’ve got to do is be able to cover in those situations,” Patricia said this week when asked about the importance of tackling at the cornerback position.
“But understand that some of the players on the other side of the ball are pretty good too. They’re going to catch the ball and what you want to make sure that happens is that they’re tackled right away and they don’t turn those plays, whatever they are, into bigger plays. So, it’s kind of a good balance that they need.”
Williams led the SEC with six interceptions in 2017. In 12 starts this past season, he posted 33 tackles, two interceptions and nine pass breakups.
Speaking at the Combine Sunday, Williams embraced the concerns people might have in his ability to come up and be physical and play the run. He vowed to show teams he’s willing and able in that regard.
View photos of the prospects that met the media on Day 4 of the 2019 NFL Combine.
“That’s something I can improve, definitely going to improve on it, ready to get back on the field and get started working on it,” he said. “I’ve got to step that up and get that right and get the right technique.”
Williams didn’t run from the criticism or dismiss the questions from teams and reporters about that part of his game. He sees an area where he can improve, and wants to do so. That’s a credit to him.
He went out and showed his athleticism by running the 40-yard dash in 4.37 seconds.
Height, length, speed and athleticism are all there with Williams. But there are other question marks, and he’s one of those prospects teams will do their homework on over the next couple months leading up to the draft.
“They are going to get a guy who works hard, a guy dedicated to winning,” Williams said of what the team that drafts him will get. “Definitely put the team first, always grew up playing football, get a man who knows the responsibility who wants to come in and have a big impact on the team.”