Thanks to the Denver Broncos coaching search, we’re getting a very late start on profiling some key free agents ahead of the new league year. Scheme has a lot to do with who makes sense as a FA and who doesn’t.
The Broncos need to add more talent into their secondary. Darious Williams is fresh off a Super Bowl win with the Los Angeles Rams and has familiarity with the Broncos’ new Defensive Coordinator. Could he be in the cards this offseason?
Weight: 187 pounds
Age: 29 years old
Experience: 5 years
Why it makes sense
The Broncos need to add more talent to their corner room. They might lose Bryce Callahan, Kyle Fuller, and Nate Hairston to free agency, which depletes the depth in that room significantly. Williams is already familiar with the scheme that Ejiro Evero is seeking to run and had his best year in 2020 with Brandon Staley at the helm. Despite his size, he’s shown he can match up with more physical and bigger receivers, squaring off against WR1s like Deandre Hopkins and DK Metcalf. Isn’t scheme-defined, but is better suited for a zone-heavy unit. Productive when the ball is in the air with 23 PBUs and 7 career INTs.
For Denver, adding Williams would give them another quality player they can play outside in their corner room opposite of Patrick Surtain II. Given Darby’s injury history and the lack of other ready playmakers outside, Williams would be a smart addition to the Broncos’ secondary. His experience and leadership would be a boon for a young talent like Patrick Surtain II.
Why it doesn’t make sense
2021 was Darious Williams’ worst year of his career by most of PFF’s metrics. Granted, it was still a quality season, but he allowed the most TDs and yards of his career and didn’t record a single INT. Williams is also almost 30 years old, which runs the risk of a decline in physical skills. It’s tough to imagine his fit with the Broncos. The Broncos need more of a slot corner immediately, and Darious Williams has played just 114 slot snaps in his career. For reference, Nate Hairston played 105 slot snaps just last season for Denver.
If Denver is looking to add another quality outside corner to keep up with the talent in the AFC West, adding a player like Darious Williams is a smart investment. Him being an outside-only corner is a bit of a scheme problem with the other outside-only corners in Darby+Surtain already on the team, but having the ability to use all three based on matchups outside could be pretty fun to witness. He’s a productive, smart, and talented corner fresh off a Super Bowl win, and that pedigree could be just what the Broncos need in their secondary.
Should the Broncos pursue Darious Williams in free agency?
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