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PFF scouting report: Marcus Williams, S, Utah

TEMPE, AZ - NOVEMBER 10: Defensive back Marcus Williams #20 of the Utah Utes celebrates after a interception against the Arizona State Sun Devils during the first half of the college football game at Sun Devil Stadium on Novemebr10, 2016 in Tempe, Arizona. (Photo by Christian Petersen/Getty Images)

Name: Marcus Williams

School: Utah

Position fit: FS/S

Stats to know: Highest run-stop percentage of all FBS safeties in 2016. Second-highest tackle efficiency against run of all FBS safeties in 2016.

What he does best:

  • Very good at being in the right position, was almost always deployed as a single-high or double-high safety and rarely let anyone behind him.
  • Knows and plays his role very well, rarely takes a bad angle or has bad tackling form. Seems very aware that he is the last line of defense and does not risk being beaten for a touchdown.
  • Made a lot of plays on the ball with 10 interceptions and two pass breakups the last two years.
  • Tackling is not much of an issue, always has good form and chooses to wrap up and break down his feet down rather than going for a knockout blow.
  • Very good tackling numbers when put in the box, but not deployed there often and likely needs to put on muscle if he wants to play there in the NFL.

Biggest concern:

  • Will get caught with his eyes in the backfield on play action, particularly in the red zone.
  • Played lots of single-high safety in college, but likely a better fit as double. Can be moved by QBs’ shoulders and pump fakes as a single-high safety.
  • Rarely put in press man coverage so it is unknown if he can play in the box and cover tight ends in man coverage if needed.
  • While he’s a sure tackler, not a big hitter.

Player comparison: Duron Harmon

Harmon has been a dependable safety in New England’s system, doing most of his work playing deep in both split and single-high looks. Like Harmon, Williams is usually in the right spot and does not give up many big plays.

Bottom line: Williams shows ability to be in the right position as a deep safety and make tackles to be a reliable last line of defense. He’s been a playmaker in coverage while playing both single-high and two-high looks in college and while he’s not a big hitter, he can make the necessary plays in the box as well.


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