Steelers 2013 Draft – 6th Round Pick – ILB Vince Williams – Breakdown & Grade

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.

Game Links: MarylandNorthern Illinois

  • I agree with Dave, this was a good value pick. Saw a lot of him here in Florida and look forward to seeing him lay the hammer on special teams as he continues to learn his position. Look out Sly!

  • steeltown

    I like this pick.. especially being in the 6th Rd. He is a good physical tackler and his character and leadership was evident at FSU.. He’ll instantly contribute on special teams

    I agree with Bryan, he is obviously a BUCK type LB, which we need. I see an interesting battle at ILB now, between Vince and Sly… something tells me that M.Mcfadden will make the Team this year, in additon to being a special teams monster he has shown to be able to play both BUCK and MACK and even made calls on Defense last preseason, another solid training camp and preseason from him and I think he makes the final cut

  • $19122620

    There is a lot to like about this guy on tape. He plays big, and doesn’t get pushed around like some shorter LBs do. Probably do to his thick lower body. Seems rock solid in run support. I really like his chances to make the team and to contribute and even like his longer term potential.

    Other seem to agree about the value of Williams:

    Scouts Inc.’s Kevin Weidl believes Florida State LB Vince Williams would “be a steal” if he is available in the fourth-round. Weidl notes that Williams showed up in every game he watched.

  • David Edward

    Having played Buck myself I can tell you that “read and react” is a phrase that still sticks with me today as a key for the ILB position (both Mack and Buck). I recall that we once picked up on film the tendency of a tailback to have a slightly different stance when he was going to carry the ball than when he was a decoy. So, keying on him I knew when to fire (blitz) or be ready for the play action. When, I saw him in his “carry” stance, I was in the backfield in time to kindly greet him as soon as he got the handoff. Basically, though, I would want both my Mack and Buck to have the same skill set. A team can line up strong and then come back weak side with a lead blocker or motion man and the Mack will have to take on the block like a Buck…or they can line up in double tight sets. Also, from time to time, either Mack or Buck will have to pick up a back out of the backfield and that can be tough if you have a real speed guy back there. I recall getting burned for a TD because I couldn’t get out into the flat in time to lay a hit on the back and he skirted into the endzone.