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Broncos roster review: defensive back K’Waun Williams

The Denver Broncos nickel hopes to shed an injury-riddled past and make a significant impact this season

NFL: Denver Broncos OTA Ron Chenoy-USA TODAY Sports

K’waun Williams has been an undrafted rookie story of success since he entered the NFL in 2014 after a four-year college career spent at Pittsburgh.

Initially picked up by the Cleveland Browns, he earned four starts as a rookie before earning the full-time starting nickelback position in 2015. He would spend years 2017-2021 with the San Francisco 49ers as the team’s starting nickelback and a standout on the their stout defensive unit.

His success would subsequently land him a two-year deal with the Denver Broncos in 2022. He has proven himself to be an effective pass defender with a knack for being a successful blitzer. His biggest issues are regarding his health, as he has had nagging injuries throughout his career.

Player Profile

Height: 5’9” | Weight: 185 pounds

Age: 32 | Experience: Ninth season

2022 stats

Williams played in 14 games for the Broncos in 2022, primarily from the nickel position where he recorded 30 solo tackles (44 combined) with an interception and seven pass breakups. The seven pass breakups were the most he recorded since his rookie season in 2014.

He would miss roughly a month after he went arthroscopic surgery in November.

Broncos defensive back K’Waun Williams’ 2023 outlook

If all things go as planned, Williams should be the team’s starting third corner in 2023. He has proven himself to be a quality back in coverage and an effective run stopper. He takes excellent angles on the attack and at his best is a difference maker.

The question remains if he can stay healthy, as he has had numerous injuries over the years and is yet to complete a full NFL season.

Final Thoughts

“The question remains if he can stay healthy.” So far, not so good.

Williams hasn’t practiced since August 7th due to an ankle injury. He did receive a second opinion after initially considering surgery that suggested normal treatment and rest in hopes of being ready for the season opener.

The Broncos already have one of the league’s best secondaries with Pat Surtain II, Damarri Mathis, Justin Simmons, and Caden Sterns/Kareem Jackson, but having Williams at full health for an entire season would be a significant difference maker for the entire defensive unit.