The Pittsburgh Steelers selected Florida State linebacker Vince Williams in the sixth-round of the 2013 NFL draft and below is my breakdown and grade of the pick.
Measurables: Combine Invite: No, Height: 6006, Weight: 233, 40 Yrd Dash: 4.76, 20 Yrd Dash: 2.76, 10 Yrd Dash: 1.71, 225 Lb. Bench Reps: 22, Vertical Jump: 32 1/2, Broad Jump: 09\’03″, 20 Yrd Shuttle: 4.67, 3-Cone Drill: 7.53
Breakdown: Williams has a thick build to him with think legs to match. The thing that sticks out the most when you watch him on film is the great closing speed that he possesses. He is great on a line, but does not change direction quickly and at times takes poor angles.
Williams is a powerful hitter and a reliable tackler, but needs to lower his target area. He does not bend well and perhaps his past back problems has something to do with this. He exposes his numbers way to often and at times tries to wrap up around the shoulders or neck area of the ball carrier. He is in no way afraid of contact and you never see him take a play off.
As far as taking on blockers, Williams usually disengages well and wades through trash with ease. You hardly ever see him off of his feet or driven back by an offensive lineman, or any lead blocker for that matter.
Williams has a slow see-to-do when trying to recognize and react. He is visibly delayed at times with his post snap reactions and can get paralyzed staring into the backfield on passing plays. He is slow to react on crossing routes that come through his zone in addition as they will run right past him on shallow crossers. As far as pure zone dropping goes, I didn\’t see a lot of that as Williams was pulled on obvious passing downs in lieu of a defensive back. His coverage skills have to be liability in order for that to happen. Overall, he can be a bit stiff.
As far as blitzing goes, this goes back to him having good straight line and closing speed. He loves hitting quarterbacks and making them get rid of the ball early.
Grade & Summation: The Steelers, in my opinion, got a fifth-round player in the sixth round with Williams. He is very physical and called the defense at Florida State. While linebackers coach Keith Butler says that he doesn\’t yet know if Williams is a BUCK or a MACK linebacker just yet, it is obvious to me that he is a BUCK. Is he a three down linebacker or will his lack of ability to cover make him only a two-down linebacker like he was in college. It will be interesting to see what weight they ask him to show up at training camp at. He lost 15 pounds prior to his pro day, so it appears he can put weight on and take it off with ease. Williams, assuming he makes the roster, should be a contributor on special teams. Overall I like the selection and will now hope that he can prove that he is a three down player. I grade the selection a B plus.