DB Joejuan Williams – Patriots Rookie Spotlight

JoeJuan Williams

The Patriots Rookie Spotlight is a daily series where I will go down the list and break down each of the 10 players taken in the 2019 NFL Draft. Yesterday I covered N’Keal Harry. Next up, Joejuan Williams.

Williams was the 45th overall pick out of Vanderbilt. Joejuan is a physical, athletic corner with a lot of upside. Williams is one of the biggest corners in the league at 6’4″, 211 lbs. Despite his size, Williams ran a 4.64 40-yard dash, which is enough juice to cover most receivers.

Strengths

Williams has the best coaching available, and has the potential to put it all together. Joejuan was a starter for all three seasons at Vanderbilt, making him battle tested in the SEC. He plays very aggressively and knows how to use his height and size to manhandle receivers. He is particularly good at pushing opponents towards the boundaries on outside routes. Williams is also very good with his hands and will play through the whistle to break up a pass.

Weaknesses

While Williams has the size and potential, there is a reason he was graded as a second/third round pick. He was a splashy player which goes both ways. Williams made great plays to break up passes with elite athleticism. However, he would also be overly aggressive with a press and give up a long reception. He also has a tendency to get physical before the ball touches a receiver, especially when he is a step behind and feels he needs to make a heroic recovery. These plays could result in penalties, something Belichick has no patience for.

My biggest problem with his game is a confusing one. Williams has good block shedding skills and makes NFL-level pursuit angles. However, he has a tendency to tackle high. He was able to get away with it in college, but he will not in the NFL. If you watch him make plays in the run game, he gets the job done but has to wrestle the ball carrier to get him down. Belichick should be able to correct this habit, and the rest of his skills bode well in the runs game. If he can improve his form tackling, he will be a weapon for Belichick.

Future With the Patriots

Joejuan Williams could be an immediate impact player. With Stephon Gilmore locking down the number one receiving threat, and J.C. Jackson showing promise as the number two corner, Williams could dominate in the nickel. Williams could be one of a handful of corners that can play man coverage on a Tight End, based on his size, speed, and physicality. Williams’ skill set is similar to Richard Sherman’s. I am not calling Williams elite, more so that he can lock down a big receiver, but can be exposed by the faster and more agile receivers. Williams is a guy that might fare better against Mike Evans than DeSean Jackson.

If you liked this article, check out the first installment of this series, where I covered N’Keal Harry here. Stayed tuned for my breakdown of Chase Winovich tomorrow.

N’Keal Harry – Patriots Rookie Spotlight

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