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February 27, 2013

NFL Draft Preview: Shawn Williams

NFL draft preview for State of the Texans: Shawn Williams.

Shawn Williams 
How did Williams end up at Georgia?
Shawn was a top 25 in-state prospect who committed early and never wavered (I'm starting to see a theme).
What did he mean to the Georgia football program?
Shawn has always been a vocal guy. He was under a bit of a media lockdown until Georgia's listless performance against Kentucky this year when he called out his defensive team mates for being "soft" and openly challenged his team to step up. In the next game, against Florida, Georgia held the Gators to three field goals with a win that propelled the Dawgs to the SEC Championship game. In that way, Williams is the conscience of Georgia's defense.

On top of that, he moved to inside linebacker some his junior season when injuries sidelined some starters. He is a selfless guy and will do anything to help his team win.

What are his strengths?
Linebacker size and strength. Ability to follow passing route progressions. Strong tackler who nearly always pursues well.

What are his weaknesses?
Can get caught out of position and frozen on double moves by quick receivers. Not quite as fast as he needs to be.
(Image: Hipple)

72 total tackles in 2011, is he a true box safety?
He certainly has the build and strength to do so on run plays, but if they ask him to back out and provide a Cover 2 look, his quickness might be an issue.  He showed the ability to cover the field well for Georgia in zone situations, and he certainly can cover a TE or a guy in the flats, as well as make life miserable for a receiver on a screen pass.

How do you project him at the next level?
Unless he catches fire, I see him as a practice squad guy that ends up on the field as injuries occur through the season. If he ends up with a team that places a premium on his combination of size and tenacity, he could catch on and end up doing kick coverage and getting a reps. Basically, he isn't going to blow people's socks off with flash, but when they see him go in game type situations, teams will look for a reason to find a roster spot for him. 

If he catches on somewhere, he'll end up cracking the starting lineup, because that is what he does.

TD

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