Greedy Williams, CB, LSU
A few weeks ago, when SisyphusNoMore selected Kentucky EDGE Josh Allen, he addressed an interesting dilemma that lies at the heart of all mock drafts.
I must draft with one and only one of the following mindsets:
- To “draft for the Raiders”: simply make (what I think is) the best selection for the team.
- To “draft as the Raiders”: simply predict what the Raiders will do.
Sisyphus went down the former road, choosing Josh Allen because, by his estimation, it would be the best pick for the Raiders to make from a football perspective. I do not disagree with him on that evaluation; Josh Allen is going to be an incredibly successful NFL player. However, where I do disagree with him is how he arrived at the pick. I am of the mindset that the duty of a mock drafter is not to play GM; we have Madden for that. No, in these here United States the way I see them, the duty of the mock drafter shall be to predict what the GM of every team will do. So I decided, for the betterment of the BGN community and for the purpose of delivering the most accurate mock draft possible, to enter into the mind of Jon Gruden (I volunteered for this).
Let me begin by saying that, if I were taking Sisyphus’ approach, I absolutely would’ve picked Mississippi State defensive tackle Jeffrey Simmons. I wrestled with this for a good long while as I watched picks fly off the board, and Simmons just kept not getting picked. I tried so hard to justify picking him, trying to come up with reasons why Jon Gruden would pick him. What I came up with was that, picking an elite space eater to pair with Josh Allen in anchoring their defensive line late in the first round made all the sense in the world; all they would have to exchange for this possible reincarnation of Fletcher Cox would be a year without his services as he recovers from surgery on his torn ACL.
However, because I know that the Raiders believe they are Super Bowl contenders right now, I knew they would be less likely to choose a player who can’t contribute immediately. I also know that defensive tackle is not a “flashy” position, and flashiness is something the Raiders have historically valued quite highly, as they have only drafted a lineman on either side of the ball in the first round once in the previous 14 years. It’s very possible that last year’s selection of Kolton Miller is a sign of changing tides, but I just don’t believe that the Raiders will select two defensive linemen in the first round after over a decade of showing a lack of interest in those positions.
So with all that in mind, I chose Greedy Williams. Why? Because his name is Greedy and he ran the 2nd fastest 40 among cornerbacks at the combine. I do not want this to go understated: My two biggest reasons for selecting Greedy Williams are that his name evokes visions of selfishness and theft, and he runs in a straight line really, really fast, and there’s nothing more Raider than that.
That is not to say that Greedy Williams is not a good football player; he is an incredibly talented cornerback who has every athletic tool to succeed at the next level. He has good ball skills, and has the right amount of flash and pizzaz that the Raiders will be trying to sell in Vegas. If everything lines up for him, he’ll have one of those cleverly named fan sections in the new stadium in Vegas, like “Greedy’s Gals” or something like that. However, all of his talent comes with red flags of equal size, which should give any franchise just a little bit of pause. But, according to the most accurate mock draft on the internet, he’s a Raider now, so let’s dive in.
Greedy’s patience is the thing that sets him apart from other cornerbacks. His ability to keep his hips square to his receivers and mirror their footwork at at the line of scrimmage forces them to exert a ton of energy on head fakes, glide steps and dips just to get more than 3 yards off the line. He is so patient at the line, it almost looks like he’s a step behind the play, but what’s really happening is that he’s forcing his wide receiver into a tell. By the time Greedy moves off of his stance, he already knows where the receiver is going, which allows him to consistently open his hips in the right direction and run with his man stride for stride.
Here is a rep vs. Texas A&M that shows how much work Greedy forces his receivers to do just to get the tiniest bit of separation (he’s at the top of your screen). There’s a glide step and a head fake from the wide receiver off the line of scrimmage; it’s a ton of work just to get a few yards upfield before beginning his break. All Greedy does is keep his feet moving quickly, press his man, and he almost effortlessly ends up directly in the way of the receiver’s route which leads to an interception on a forced throw.
Below are a few instances of him harassing DK Metcalf at the bottom of your screen. Admittedly, Metcalf is not a nuanced route runner. However, Greedy never opens his hips to run with Metcalf until Metcalf has already lowered his head and shown whether he’s going inside or outside. Just watching this matchup is frustrating because you know Metcalf will never have a chance here unless he just plain outruns the coverage.
Greedy has super quick feet. In this rep, watch the bottom of your screen, and you’ll see how he uses the tiniest steps possible to stay with his receiver until his man breaks his route. As mentioned above, he doesn’t turn his hips until the receiver has already committed, and those quick stutter steps at the line allow him to wait until the last possible second to open up.
Greedy also has great ability to turn with his receivers once they get upfield. On the route shown below, the receiver doesn’t do much of anything to create any deception at the line of scrimmage. There’s one half hearted stutter step to the outside, but then it’s pretty much a straight go-route from there. Where he’s trying to fool Greedy is at the top of his route, where he turns his route into a 15 yard out. Again, we’re keeping an eye on the bottom of the screen.
I don’t know if Greedy knew that his receiver was going to break outside because he recognized a play concept or because the receiver had some kind of tell, but he began turning his hips to the sideline before the receiver made his move. No separation to be had there.
One of the key components to any cornerback’s game is the ability to go from stop to go quickly enough that the receiver can’t take advantage of any deception that is caused by a route concept or pump fake. In this rep, Greedy is at the top of your screen, and he’s playing off coverage.
In this rep we see Greedy stop at about the 12 yard line. He is prepared to collapse on a curl or in-route, but recognizes the pump fake and that the QB is aiming for Metcalf in the endzone. We all know Metcalf is fast, so Greedy has to go from his pause at the 12 yard line to covering a deep corner without getting burned by Metcalf’s speed, and staying close enough that Metcalf can’t get a wide open jump ball. He does a great job staying with Metcalf and puts enough pressure on him to draw an offensive pass interference.
Con: Lack of versatility
Even though you saw his ability to play off coverage on the previous rep, some have called Greedy Williams “scheme dependent.” He has shown an ability to be valuable in other phases of the game beside press coverage, just not with an amount of regularity or consistency that makes scouts comfortable calling him a “do-it-all” kind of corner. On this rep vs. Notre Dame, we see Greedy playing zone coverage. He’s the beneficiary of what looks to be a bad play concept and very inadvisable throw by the QB, but he’s disciplined enough to stay shallow enough to be ready to collapse should the ball go to the flat receiver, and deep enough to create an ultra small window for the QB to throw to should he want to throw to the pylon. The underthrown ball leads to an interception.
Again, versatility is something that a coaching staff will need to take a chance on, as the tape on Greedy offers mostly press coverage reps. He has the athletic tools to play off coverage or zone coverage well; the doubt is whether he’ll be coached well enough to turn those tools into a strength, or be exposed by more creative NFL offenses and more accurate quarterbacks.
Con: Attitude/Run Support
Two things that don’t necessarily sound like they belong together, but when it comes to corners, laziness manifests in whether or not you’re willing to shed blocks from a wide receiver, pursue the running back and finish your tackle. Every scouting report I’ve read about Greedy mentions somewhere that this is a problem.
“Generally uninterested, lacking physicality, aggressiveness and technique in his run fits. Too often fails to disengage from blocks. Will take risks with his run fits and give up the edge.” -Brad Kelly
“It’s gonna be a yikes from me, dog. Has no real desire to get involved in run defense, hangs back and retreats from blockers/ball carriers hoping for someone else to step in and make a tackle. Consistent soft edge to his side, allowing runners to bounce at will.” -Jon Ledyard
“Would prefer not to [tackle]. Nips at ankles and is often reluctant to do that. Rarely illustrates a desire to square up a ball carrier and have a physical exchange. Whiffs too frequently in space.” -Joe Marino
“Frustratingly poor reps are present on tape. Can be found at times walking behind the play and has made some business decisions in run support and as a tackler.” -Kyle Crabbs
Whichever coaching staff works with him will have to decide if that’s something they’re okay with because he’s so strong at shutting down the other team’s top receiver, or something they’re going to try to coach out of him. If the latter, there’s not guarantee this tiger will change his stripes, which could cause tension, at best, or a total flame-out, at worst. This is absolutely something the Raiders should consider: Is pairing a possible diva of a cornerback with an already known diva wide receiver in your locker room going to bring out the best in everyone or just cause headaches?
Andraez Williams has all the tools to be an elite cornerback in this league, and I absolutely believe the Raiders will love that talent enough to take the risk on everything else. Any team with a track record of success turning players with effort issues into valuable on-field contributors should want him. Unfortunately for the Raiders, they do not have that track record, and there are a lot of reasons to believe that this experiment will fail and that Greedy William’s will be a Patriot reclamation project in 3 years. However, if they can develop Williams to his full potential, he could be their best defensive back since Nnamdi Asomugha was actually good at football.
Do you approve of this pick?
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2019 BGN Mock Draft Order
1) Cardinals (Philliesandthebees): Kyler Murray
2) 49ers (SakPrescott): Nick Bosa
3) Jets (thealien2696): Quinnen Williams
4) Raiders (SisyphusNoMore): Josh Allen
5) Buccaneers (EAGLESBSU): Montez Sweat
6) Giants (ablesser88): Dwayne Haskins
7) Jaguars (20Safety_Hazards): Jawaan Taylor
8) Lions (89Tremaine): Ed Oliver
9) Bills (drc242): Jonah Williams
10) Broncos (ItownBallers22): Devin White
11) Bengals (Phoenix X Maximus): Cody Ford
12) Packers (Palaniappan K M): Brian Burns
13) Dolphins (wildcatlh): Andre Dillard
14) Falcons (Happy24): Rashan Gary
15) Washington (roberticus01): D.K. Metcalf
16) Panthers (JALupowitz): Clelin Ferrell
17) Giants (KevinDont): Devin Bush
19) Titans (Big Schmoopie): Christian Wilkins
20) Steelers (J. Wil): T.J. Hockenson
21) Seahawks (NickfoleonDynamite): Chauncey Gardner-Johnson
22) Ravens (GMinTraining): N’Keal Harry
23) Texans (EaglesRock94): Byron Murphy
24) Raiders (SummersInVA): Greedy Williams
25) Eagles (I Need a Username):
26) Colts (Nolo0oo):
27) Raiders (SLC Eagle):
28) Chargers (LBCeaglesFan!):
29) Chiefs (Boxer Madness):
30) Packers (Kephas):
31) Rams (Matthieuck):
32) Patriots (Zett_66):
Now it’s time for you to vote for who YOU think the Raiders should pick in the 2019 BGN Community Consensus Mock Draft.
Who should the Raiders select at No. 24?
This poll is closed
Irv Smith Jr
2019 BGN Community Consensus Mock Draft
1) Cardinals: Kyler Murray
2) 49ers: Nick Bosa
3) Jets: Quinnen Williams
4) Raiders: Josh Allen
5) Buccaneers: Montez Sweat
6) Giants: Dwayne Haskins
7) Jaguars: Jawaan Taylor
8) Lions: Ed Oliver
9) Bills: Jonah Williams
10) Broncos: Devin White
11) Bengals: Devin Bush
12) Packers: T.J. Hockenson
13) Dolphins: Andre Dillard
14) Falcons: Rashan Gary
15) Washington: Drew Lock
16) Panthers: Clelin Ferrell
17) Giants: Brian Burns
18) Vikings: Noah Fant
19) Titans: Christian Wilkins
20) Steelers: D.K. Metcalf
21) Seahawks: Chauncey Gardner-Johnson
22) Ravens: N’Keal Harry
23) Texans: Cody Ford