DB Marcus Williams, Utah*

6’1” – 202 lbs. – 4.56

Started six games as a true freshman and rotated heavily into the defense, then became a full-time starter the following season, spending the past two years with the first-team. Tall defensive back with long arms which measured 32.5” at the Combine; bulk is just adequate. Played free safety for the Utes, typically as far as twenty yards off the line of scrimmage in a traditional center-fielder role; had a lot of single-high responsibilities, and only rare snaps closer to the line of scrimmage as more of a box safety. Did a lot of work in deep zones and appears to do a good job of reading opposing quarterbacks and putting himself in position to make plays on the ball. Has quick feet and good balance in his backpedal. Timed speed is only average but does a good job flowing to the play direction and getting to the sidelines to provide support over the top on downfield targets; instincts are well above-average for the position. Has soft hands and looks dangerous with the ball in his hands; recorded eleven interceptions in college, including ten over the past two seasons. Wasn’t really asked to line up in man coverage against opposing receivers or tight ends; basically a zone-only player in college. Not afraid to come up and support the run, but remembers his responsibilities as a deep safety; that said, takes sound angles to the ball and can generate some pop on contact, with wrap tackling technique and a solid radius. Could be more consistent about serving as the aggressor and will “catch” opponents, giving up yards after contact. More of a reliable tackler than an enforcer; played far off the line in college and wasn’t really asked to punish opponents over the middle, nor is that something his frame is really suited for. Recorded an incredible 43.5” vertical leap at the Combine and also performed well in the broad jump, cone drill, and long shuttle. Injured his ankle last season and missed some time, which will need to be looked at. A likely second-day pick who should be able to step into a starting lineup sooner rather than later; offers teams an impressive combination of length, instincts, fluidity, tackling technique, and ball skills which is more than enough to offset his lack of ideal bulk and physicality. Will probably be drafted for the same center-fielder/deep-zone role he handled in college, but could conceivably work against receivers in the slot if needed.

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