DARIOUS WILLIAMS | CB | ALABAMA-BIRMINGHAM
Height: 5095 | Weight: 184 | 40 Time: 4.44 | 10-Split: 1.52 | Bench: 13 | 3Cone: 6.85 | Broad: 122" | Vertical: 39"
Darious Williams is a fifth-year Senior who has started 19 of 24 games at Left Cornerback for the Blazers. After the UAB football program disbanded after 2014, Williams had offers from Troy, Southern Miss, and South Alabama, but opted to stay at UAB, so he has not played collegiate football since his Freshman year season, making him a bit of a unique case. Despite a two-year hiatus, all Williams did this year was lead Conference USA with 15 pass deflections and lead the NCAA with a four-game interception streak. The Jacksonville, FL native was named to PFF's First-Team All-American team and was also selected First-Team All-Conference USA. Per PFF, Williams' 36.0% catch rate allowed ranks fifth-lowest among 2018 NFL Draft CBs.
Williams lacks prototypical height and boasts cut, developed biceps with good functional strength for his size. Williams flashes terrific foot speed, mirroring ability, and is an explosive leaper that allows him to levitate and make plays on the football at the catch point. Williams lit up his Pro Day, posting the 9th best 40 time, 2nd best vertical, and 10th best three cone of 2018 CBs.
In Press, Williams will try to punch WRs off their route stem and quickly flips his hips to turn and run in-phase, mitigating separation off the release. In Man coverage, Williams does a good job of positioning himself to take away the deep play over the top and understands the nuances of the position in terms of recognizing when to play the ball and when to play the man. Williams is capable of locating the football in flight and if he knows he cannot adjust his position to get his body in between the ball and the Receiver, he will watch the WR’s hands and swipe it out with terrific timing. Williams demonstrates outstanding ball skills and his production matches the film, registering 5 INTs and returning one for a TD in 2017. In run support, Williams is a feisty player who likes to attack up field and make plays at or behind the LOS. Williams is patient in the open field and does well to mirror shiftier, dynamic runners in open space and wrap up low.
Williams originally attended Division III program Marietta College in Ohio when he had to leave the program to attend to family issues back home. Williams later earned a walk-on spot in 2014 and earned a starting CB spot within his first five games as a freshman. UAB Head Coach Bill Clark has stated that Williams "a smart, good person, good player, really intelligent player," adding that the light came on with a new physicality to his game early this season. Williams compares in body type and play style to E.J. Gaines and while his 2017 tape certainly warrants him being a high day three draft pick in my opinion, teams may not trust him and view Williams as a one-year wonder, potentially dropping him down to a late rounder/PFA prospect.
Overall Grade: 80
Athletic Ability: 6
Play Strength: 6
Play Speed: 6
Competitive Toughness: 7
Press Coverage: 4
Man Coverage: 5
Zone Coverage: 4
Make-Up Speed: 4
Player Comparison: EJ Gaines
Projected Round: Round 7/PFA
For information on our grading criteria, click here.