College: Florida State
Position: Defensive Corner
Williams has outstanding quickness in his transitions both in turning his hips & accelerating as well as being sudden in his COD. He really can fire his lower half and explode in short-areas (has springy legs), making him an explosive tackler and in reacting from a standstill. He has the agility to maneuver around blocks with balance and body control but has struggled staying in-phase in man coverage. Not only is his long speed below what you want from a pure man cover CB, it seems the further into a route the less foot fire/coordination he has to make precise movements, thus struggling to stay in-phase downfield. This rears its head particularly versus supreme quickness (see ’14 Miami tape versus Phillip Dorsett). He has flashed impressive hand eye coordination as well (see 4th quarter in ’13 Boston College tape for best example).
Section Grade: 7
Pride / Quit
Williams is an extremely aggressive player who routinely comes up in run support without hesitation while delivering a very good pop on contact. He often chases down the ball from all areas of the field and does an outstanding job of ripping at the ball during a tackle. He has been clutch at times in his career as most evident by his defensive MVP in the ’13 BCS Championship game where he recorded 7 tackles & 1 INT. The INT came in the beginning of the 4th quarter and PJ fumbled the ball on his return, which was recovered by teammate Lamarcus Joyner. The INT was a critical turning point in the game and led to an FSU offensive TD, making the game 21-20. Throughout his career he has only missed one game due to injury in ’13 against Citadel with a hamstring. He is a snap to whistle player who has the attitude & willingness to get physical that you want from a top corner.
Section Grade: 6.7
Learn / Retain
Instinct / Reaction
Williams is inconsistent in his technique with his press and in his trail. Multiple times on film he would get beat in press by taking a false step followed by having jittery feet or not having a strong stab in his jam, missing the WR. He is a very instinctive CB with things in front of him and has excellent read/react ability in this area but when his back is to the ball and he is playing vertically he struggles to locate/track. He looks uncomfortable downfield when he has to stay with WRs while also being cognizant of the ball by losing a WR & getting out of phase or not recognizing a route quickly enough. He flashes the athletic ability to catch & mirror very well, but his technique isn’t consistent enough in doing so.
Section Grade: 5.8
Strength / Explosion
Williams has the prototypical frame and build you look for in a corner and has enough bulk/strength to make a move to safety if need be. As previously mentioned he has only missed 1 game in his career that was due to a hamstring strain. PJ has a lot of spring to his step as well as outstanding initial explosion both from a standstill & after the turn. He is a very strong player who demonstrates the ability to bring down bigger ballcarriers (’13 Boston College/Andre Williams) as well as fight through blocks from bigger players. He has strong hands & arms to wrap up consistently as well separate the ball with a rip.
Section Grade: 7.5
7 Read & React
Does a nice job of keying on the ball from off man & hip pocketing WRs. but can struggle to identify more complex routes when his back is to the ball especially. Reacts with suddenness & gets upfield with agility in the run game. Excels reacting from off
7 Man On / Man Off
Williams has the most experience playing off and excels at it due to his agility, twitch, & fluidity catching receivers & turning. He regularly will mirror WRs from this position & hip pocket them downfield but needs some work identifying & reacting to deep in/out cuts.
5.5 Man Tight
Has the necessary athleticism & explosiveness to mirror most receivers when he can alter their route initially. Needs a lot of work in his technique at the LOS in terms of keeping quiet feet and not being jittery as well as hand placement in his jam. Has a tendency to open his arms at the snap to aid in his turn and react rather than keep them tight and be proactive
7 Zone Coverage
Has very active/spring-like footwork which enables him to cover ground quickly from a standstill and in transition. Needs work on identifying combo routes sooner but has the ability to become excellent at baiting QBs. Has a play in the ’13 tape vs BC that exemplifies his instincts & patience in zone. Two WRs were stacked on the left side of the formation, PJ reacted to the top WR’s quick out by slightly turning hips to outside before catching himself quickly flipped hips around to react to the back WR’s corner route. He dropped the ball but read the QBs’ eyes beautifully
7.5 Break & Close
’14 Louisville tape he made 2 very nice PBUs on slant routes by DeVante Parker, showcasing his burst from his plant & closing speed. Able to generate lots of jolt & twitch from his lower half to explode
8 Hips / Turn ability
Very smooth hips in his turn and does so effortlessly. Can hip pocket a variety of receivers with relative ease. Lacks the sheer speed to stay with elite deep speed, but his turn is superb
PJ is a solid tackler & a better hitter, particularly when coming downfield. Has the ability to deliver a lot of pop by unlocking his hips on contact & drives his shoulders through defenders’ lower halves with a strong wrap. The ’14 OK State tape he made a big-time tackle on the QB inside the box on a scramble, flipping him head over heels & forcing a fumble. A player who doesn’t shy from contact & loves clawing at the ball on the way down
5.5 Hands – INT
Didn’t get many opportunities to get in position to make INTs in the tapes I saw but dropped an easy one in ’13 vs BC. Knocks balls down more than trying to catch them
6 Hands – Fight blocks
He will scrap with any size of a blocker but at times will do so when moving backwards. Uses his agility to get around most blocks rather than through them but doesn’t have a problem with knifing through OL low to effect the play
6.5 Long Speed
Has very good long speed rather than great. After his initial first-step explosiveness versus premier speed he can get out of phase if he wasn’t able to alter route
6 Return Ability
Most of his errors come in his technique, particularly in from his jam as well as with his back towards the ball & locating/tracking. Aside from the inconsistencies here he is a sound player in off man, zone, and against the run
Section Grade: 6.6
8 ATH. ABILITY
7 M / M OFF
5.5 M / M TIGHT
6.5 PLAY SPEED
Section Grade: 6.8
Overall Grade: D 6.7
- 40 inch vertical (combine) 41 inch vertical (pro day)
- 4.57 40 yard dash (combine) 4.45 40 yard dash (pro day)
- 4.28 short shuttle
- 7.08 3 cone
- 12 reps 225
- 11-0 broad (combine) 11-3 broad (pro day)
- 31 inch arm length
Impressively proportioned, muscular build. Very physical player who can unlock his hips on contact, delivering impressive pop. Strong wrap & an aggressive hands tackler. Springy legs and active feet. Read/react player with the necessary traits to excel in this area. Possesses a lot of twitch and raw explosion from his lower half both out of his turn and from a standstill. Smooth and fluid in his COD with a very easy turn. Hip pockets receivers with ease on short to intermediate routes. Has excellent closing speed to the ball using a combination of play recognition & his aforementioned quickness. Flashes ability to see through the WR to the QB. Experienced & effective blitzer.
Inconsistent technique in press man, particularly with his jam. Struggles to keep his feet quiet instead gets jittery at times and takes false steps on quick moves from a WR. Improper use of his hands at the LOS at times, letting them get wide (wasted motion) rather than keep them in tight. Ability to locate the ball over shoulder & track is also lacking as he fails to quickly pick up the ball most times. Lacks the long speed necessary to run stride for stride with fast receivers deep downfield unless able to effect their route physically. When trailing in the MOF and the WR makes a deep in/out cut he struggles to stay in-phase (see ’14 Miami & ’14 Louisville tapes) due to not keeping eyes on the WR & being a little stiff on sharp lateral cuts.
Williams is a true junior who decided to forgo his senior season and enter the draft. He was a starter on the 2013 BCS National Championship team and will be 22-years old before the 2015 NFL season (born June 1, 1993). PJ came to FSU as a highly recruited 4-star recruit who had offers from Miami & Alabama among others. He appeared in 14 games as a true freshman in 2012 before being named a starter in 2013, starting 11 games and earning the defensive MVP in the National Title game. In 2014 Williams was named First-Team All-ACC as well as a Thorpe finalist. He finished his career appearing in 40 games with 24 starts. He compiled 123 total tackles, 82 solo, 9 TFL, 1 sack, 4 INTs, 18 PBUs, 1 FF, & 1 INT for a TD.
Williams primarily played the field side CB position in 2013 before switching over to the boundary side CB in 2014. While primarily lining up on the boundary side in ’14, he did move around occasionally to the field side, slot, and often lined up in the box when there wasn’t a WR to his side.
Williams has excellent size for his position with good enough length to succeed as a starter. He has a muscular, cut build with plenty of twitch in his movements to click/close rapidly in short-areas. He has the frame to pack on more weight if need be which is important because I view him making the biggest impact in the NFL as a free safety. PJ is an explosive athlete who plays with an aggressive mentality. He displays the ability to unlock his hips and strike ballcarriers and he does so coming downhill as well as chasing backside. He has very good aim with his shoulder pads when tackling low, rarely missing his intended target. He will fight people to the ground and is always looking for the strip. Williams is a very active player who excels with his chest to the football, reading & reacting, rather than with his back to the ball having to make a plays from the trail. As a reactive corner in cover 3 and off man he does a nice job of catching receivers, hip pocketing them, and mirroring them downfield. He primarily uses a side shuffle rather than a pedal in off coverage. He has exceptional initial explosion but will level off versus top end speed and at times slip out of phase. This usually leads him having to play catch up, which effects the timing of his head turn, ball location, and tracking. His ball skills in general are inconsistent although he has demonstrated outstanding hand eye coordination on crossers over the MOF from a trail position (see ’13 Boston College). He is a bit stiff on lateral cuts (you see it on well run slant routes against him) but once he does break, he closes to the ball with a ton of quickness and will break-up balls from this reactive sequence (’14 Louisville versus DeVante Parker had 2 PBUs on slants). Press man coverage is an area he has plenty of fluidity in his hips for, but his technique in his jam (footwork, hands) need work becoming consistent. His hand placement/usage looks out of sync as well as his feet at times (jitters/false steps on quick moves) & it results in too much separation after the snap. As previously mentioned, his skill-set & physicality tell me he would be an outstanding safety where he is able to keep everything in front of him, react, and close on the ball explosively & fluidly. If he was kept at corner I believe he has the necessary traits to succeed from an off-man or primarily zone scheme but will experience a steep learning curve if asked to play press man. Free safety is more of a natural fit for him with more scheme versatility.
Pro Comp – Malcolm Jenkins
Value – Top 32
Projection – Top 40