Rodarius Williams Scouting Report By Charlie Campbell
Smooth cover corner
Fast a big corner
Loose hips, can flip and run
Can run the route and prevent separation
Smooth in and out of breaks
Tough, physical defender
Defends 50-50 passes well
Can play off-man or press-man coverage
Solid zone corner
Grabbed and held too much in 2017-2019
Had issues in transition
Doesn't have exceptional ball skills
Late to track the ball
Needs to become more consistent
Summary: "Rodarius could be the Joe Burrow of corners," says one area scout. "He's not going first overall or anything like that, but entering the season, we had him as a late-round pick or undrafted free agent. But after his senior year, he's going in the early rounds this year." The younger brother of Greedy Williams, Rodarius Williams was a 4-year starter who put it all together as a senior after some rough years to start out his collegiate career for the Cowboys.
Williams notched 44 tackles, 10 passes broken up, but zero interceptions as a freshman in 2017. In 2018 (49-8-2) and 2019 (58-6-0), teams successfully threw at Williams, but as a senior, he was superb in shutting down wideouts while totaling 18 tackles and seven passes batted away. Williams then had an underwhelming week at the Senior Bowl, with some signs suggesting a reversion to his 2019 form.
Williams is a tale of two tapes. In the rough years, Williams grabbed and held too much. He had issues transitioning to let receivers create separation, and was late to track the ball. Williams also did not show good ball skills.
In 2020, Williams was much better in transition, showing the agility and athleticism to run the route and prevent separation. He used his height and length to smother wideouts, leading quarterbacks to struggle to get the ball around him. Williams also showed the speed to run downfield and a burst out of the break. He simply looked like a different athlete as a senior compared to the previous three years.
Considering the big difference in tape, Williams is a tough evaluation. His senior-year tape to go along with a cornerback who has size and speed is a combination that says first-round potential. His prior years and his Senior Bowl performance, however, suggest lower. As a result, some teams have him graded on Day 2, with some putting him in the second round and others in the third round. Williams looks likely to go in the second round in the 2021 NFL Draft given the demand for cover corners around the NFL.
Player Comparison: A.J. Bouye. Team sources suggested Bouye as a player who Williams was similar to, and Bouye makes a ton of sense. Bouye had some decent seasons with Texans and Jaguars, showing size and coverage ability. When Bouye had problems, he grabbed too much, and that is a similar issue for Williams. In the NFL, Williams could be a cornerback comparable to Bouye.