The final prospect interviewed by the Denver Broncos at the Senior Bowl last month is Shawn Williams, a 6’0", 217 LB. Strong Safety out of Georgia. Ranked 143 overall and 3rd out of 134 Strong Safety prospects nationwide, Shawn has a pre-Combine 40 Time of 4.54 seconds. His expected draft slot is the 4th round.
Shawn Williams is a graduating Senior who majored in Consumer Economics. Born May 13, 1991, Shawn lettered 3 years for the Bulldogs while playing 54 games, totaling 209 Tackles, 10.5 TFL, 1 Sack, 15 Pass Breakups, 4 Interceptions, 2 Forced Fumbles and 2 Recovered.
He began on Special Teams as a freshman and improved each season. In 2010, he appeared in 13 games making three starts recording 34 tackles, a pass breakup and a quarterback pressure. 2011 saw him starting 13 of 14 games, recording a team-best 72 Tackles, a Forced Fumble, two Fumble Recoveries, six Pass Breakups, four Interceptions and two QB Pressures.
As a Senior, Williams started 14 games, with 98 Tackles, 5.5 TFL, 1 Sack, 8 Pass Breakups and 1 Forced Fumble.
NFL.COM DRAFT PROFILE
GRADE - 74.8
Georgia coaches give out a "True Grit" award after spring practice for an offensive and defensive player who stands out for his toughness and pure determination on the field. Despite the large number of NFL-caliber players on the Bulldogs’ defense, Williams has picked up the award each of the past two years. That attitude and voraciousness has shown itself on Saturdays, as opposing receivers and running backs will tell you as they get iced down after the game.
The former Georgia high school all-state pick put his hard-hitting style to work primarily on special teams during his first two seasons in Athens. Williams was named one of the team’s top newcomers after his true freshman year, finishing strong by making three of his season total of five tackles against Texas A&M in the Bulldogs’ Independence Bowl win. In 2010, he was one of the team’s Most Improved Players on special teams but also started three contests (34 tackles on the year). When a spot in the starting lineup opened up his junior year, all he did was lead the team in tackles (72, five for loss), intercept four passes (including one in the Capital One Bowl loss to Michigan State), and break up six others. As a senior, Williams made headlines for calling out his defensive teammates as "too soft." That description certainly doesn't fit Williams, who racked up 98 tackles (5.5 for loss), with four passes defended.
STRENGTHS Physical in-the-box safety with an overall muscular build that translates well to the next level. Attacks gaps as a blitzer, has the speed to get into the backfield in a hurry to disrupt plays. Strong tackler, can throw down smaller running backs or larger tight ends with authority. Not relegated to the box, often in single or two-deep alignments and capable of moving well in short areas. Reads quarterbacks well in zone and closes to hit receivers as they are catching the ball. Intimidating in the middle, puts his shoulder into the chest of receivers to separate the ball.
WEAKNESSES Will go for the big shoulder hit or a cut block at times instead of wrapping. Gets locked up in the run game when failing to out-quick linemen or rip off more aggressive receivers. Lacks the ball skills and hands to come down with many interceptions. Doesn't have the lateral agility to consistently stay with tight ends or slot receivers.
NFL COMPARISON Sean Jones
BOTTOM LINE Williams joined Bacarri Rambo as part of duo of NFL-caliber safeties lining up for the Bulldogs in 2012. He combines a thick build, fiery attitude, and very good athleticism to be an intimidator over the middle and in the run game. He intercepted four passes as a junior, but did not record a single interception as a senior. How much range he has in addition to questions about how he can handle slot receivers and tight ends will likely see him slide some on draft day. Still, Williams could potentially see himself as a future starting strong safety.
While his partner in the deep patrol -- free safety Bacarri Rambo -- gets most of the headlines due to his ball skills (eight INTs in 2011), Williams is also an accomplished pass thief (four INTs last year), a more consistent open-field tackler and is highly regarded by the coaching staff for his selfless play, toughness and versatility.
Like most prospects at a program boasting as much individual talent as Georgia, Williams initially made his mark on special teams, earning recognition in this role during both his true freshman and sophomore seasons.
He saw his first starting action in 2010, earning the nod three times while playing in all 13 games and recording 34 tackles on the year. Despite entering his junior season with only these three career starts, Williams was named a team captain last season.
He showed the leadership traits coaches love when he switched from his customary strong safety position to inside linebacker when injuries took their toll on the team early last year. Starting 13 of 14 games for the Bulldogs last season, Williams led the team with 72 tackles, including five for loss. Along with the four interceptions, Williams also broke up six passes, recovered two fumbles and forced another.
The broad-shouldered Williams looks and tackles like a linebacker but moves well, showing enough agility to handle coverage responsibilities. His coaches have compared him to former Georgia safety/outside linebacker Thomas Davis, who was selected with the No. 14 overall pick of the 2005 draft by the Carolina Panthers.--Rob Rang
Suffered a knee injury in Georgia's annual spring game in April 2012, but didn't need surgery. That didn’t slow him down, as his production increased for the third consecutive season.
Shawn Williams vs South Carolina & Ole Miss (2012)
UGA Best Safety Tandem: Shawn Williams & Bacarri Rambo
Shawn Williams' big hit
Shawn williams bullies taylor martinez
Shawn Williams is a big hitting Strong Safety who even played some Linebacker at Georgia (because of other injuries to the position). He plays with attitude, is a vocal leader and even called out his team for "playing soft" last season. He could be the intimidator over the middle of the field that the Broncos haven’t seen since John Lynch. While I would prefer Phillip Thomas as the lone addition at Safety this season, Williams would be a good value pick in the 4th round.
Follow Me on Twitter!
Get your MHR T-shirt here
Like Me on FaceBook!