Joejuan Williams 2019 NFL Draft Profile

Joejuan Williams
SOUTH BEND, IN - SEPTEMBER 15: Vanderbilt Commodores cornerback Joejuan Williams (8) reacts to a defensive play in the 1st quarter during a college football game between the Vanderbilt Commodores and the Notre Dame Fighting Irish on September 15, 2018, at Notre Dame Stadium in South Bend, IN. (Photo by Daniel Bartel/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images)

Overview
Position: Cornerback
Height: 6’4”
Weight: 211 pounds
School: Vanderbilt Commodores

Combine Performance Data
40-yard dash: 4.64 seconds
Bench press: 17 reps

Joejuan Williams 2019 NFL Draft Profile

Three years at Vanderbilt was enough for Joejuan Williams, who opted to eschew his senior year of eligibility and declare for the 2019 NFL Draft. It’s hard to blame him for the decision, as Williams is coming off the heels of an impressive 2018 campaign. Appearing in 13 games, the Tennessee native recorded four interceptions, 13 passes defended, and 61 tackles during his time on the field. His 13 passes defended were the most in his conference, and Williams earned Second-Team All-SEC honors for his impressive play.

Williams first joined Vanderbilt after earning All-State honors for his high school play. Appearing in 10 games as a true freshman, Williams recorded 19 tackles and two passes defended while primarily coming off the bench. Williams started in 11 games a sophomore, breaking up 10 passes while recording 39 tackles and 2.5 tackles-for-loss.

Williams finishes his collegiate career with 119 tackles, four interceptions, 25 passes defended, and one forced fumble. The 6’4” cornerback feels he put enough on tape to earn an NFL job, but what should teams expect from the Vanderbilt product?

Strengths

  • big, physical body who knows how to use his strength;
  • surprisingly good change-of-direction ability for his size;
  • showed ability to get hands on the ball in 2018;
  • solid tackling technique;
  • strong recovery ability when beat;
  • held his own against top receiver talent;
  • pushes receivers towards the sideline in press.

Weaknesses

  • below-average speed could be an issue at NFL level;
  • physical play invites penalties;
  • not built for a zone scheme;
  • struggles to cover quicker, speedier wide receivers;
  • Risk-reward style of play leads to giving up the occasional big play.

NFL Comparison: Brandon Browner

Teams With Need at Position: Cincinnati Bengals, Pittsburgh Steelers, Kansas City Chiefs, Oakland Raiders, San Francisco 49ers, Tampa Bay Buccaneers, Atlanta Falcons

Projection: Round two

Bottom Line

Williams has the potential to be a starting-caliber cornerback in the right scheme. He’s one of the biggest and strongest cornerbacks in the draft and can outmuscle just about anyone in man coverage. He can beat up guys within five yards of the line of scrimmage out outmuscle receivers to break up passes downfield. While he’s not the shiftiest player in the field, he has what it takes to follow larger receivers over the middle of the field.

That said, there are some clear weaknesses in Williams’ game. For one, he’s one of the slowest cornerbacks in the draft. His 4.64-second 40-yard dash fell in the seventh percentile at the NFL Draft, and his tape backs up his subpar speed. Asking him to play zone is asking for disaster, so he’s somewhat limited in that regard. Additionally, Williams is a physical corner, which naturally lends itself to an increased rate of pass interference penalties.

Williams will never be a superstar, but he has the ability to be a solid CB2 in the right scheme. He’s not a well-rounded prospect by any means, but he does have an NFL skill set. Look for Williams to compete for a starting spot out of the gate, assuming he lands in a favorable scheme.

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4 COMMENTS

  1. […] The New England Patriots probably have the best cornerbacks in all of football. Stephon Gilmore is a genuine stud who is coming off an All-Pro season. J.C. Jackson looks like yet another undrafted steal, while Jason McCourty still has something left in his tank. Jonathan Jones is one of the better slot cornerbacks in football and the Patriots invested a second-round pick in cornerback Joejuan Williams. […]

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