Marcus Williams 2017 NFL Draft Profile

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Position: Free Safety
Height: 6‘1”
Weight: 195 pounds
School: Utah Utes

Marcus Williams 2017 NFL Draft Profile

In a draft that is deep with defensive back talent Utah’s Marcus Williams stands out as being one of the truer free safeties available. A contributor for the Utes since walking on campus, Williams is athletic and intelligent and achieved many accolades in his college career. He is tall, athletic, and extremely intelligent having graduated high school with a 4.0 GPA.

Williams has been a starter at free safety since his freshman year in Salt Lake City. Before declaring for the NFL Draft following his junior year, Williams was a two-time All Pac-12 selection, two-time academic all-conference selection, and a Pro Football Focus All-American in 2016. He managed 11 total interceptions, most of which came in the last two years.

Although he may lack elite speed, Williams is a long strider who can cover a lot of ground in his deep field zone. He will however get lost looking to play the ball and let the receiver get behind him at times. Williams is not as much of a factor in the run game as you would like to see. He has issues with defeating blocks and tackling do to his lack of size.

Williams is tall enough to succeed in the NFL, but he looks rail thin and will need to add strength and bulk to his frame. He has made a lot of big hits, but most of them have come as the receiver is trying to catch the ball rather than when he is face to face with a ball carrier. It will be important for Williams to increase his strength in order to match-up better physically with blockers and ball carriers in the NFL.


  • makes big time hits on receivers in the middle of the field.
  • rangy – true free safety.
  • good size – long.
  • excellent ball skills.
  • athletic.
  • makes good reads, does not generally bite on play action.


  • will go for the big hit rather than a potential interception.
  • not a refined tackler.
  • needs to bulk up.
  • his big hits come when receiver is not prepared, may struggle face-to-face.
  • needs to learn how to defeat blocks.
  • lets receivers get behind him.
  • lacks elite closing speed.

NFL Comparison: Devin McCourty

Teams with Need a Position: Jacksonville Jaguars, Cincinnati Bengals, Tennessee Titans, Los Angeles Chargers, Cleveland Browns, Seattle Seahawks, Los Angeles Rams

Projection: third Round

Bottom Line

Marcus Williams has a good skill set to play safety in the NFL. He lacks the speed of an elite player, but is a long-strider who can cover a lot of ground. He is a true free safety and will fit best with a team that uses a lot of single high safety looks. In order to be successful in the NFL, he will need to become stronger and better at taking on blocks and making tackles. He has a good skill set and intelligence, but will require time to develop on the field and in the weight room.


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