NFL Draft

2017 NFL Draft Player Profiles: Utah FS Marcus Williams

From now until the 2017 NFL Draft takes place, we hope to showcase as many prospects as possible and examine both their strengths and weaknesses. Most of these profiles will feature individuals that the Pittsburgh Steelers are likely to have an interest in, while a few others will be top-ranked players. If there is a player you would like us to analyze, let us know in the comments below.

Marcus Williams/FS Utah – 6’0/6 202

The Good

– NFL frame, not elite but isn’t undersized either as a true free safety
– Good athlete overall, easy mover, fluid hips and doesn’t show stiffness in his turn
– Takes good angles to the football in coverage with the ball in the air
– Willing tackler, embraces the run, and a competent, drag down tackler who isn’t very pretty but doesn’t miss very often
– Good football IQ and ability to read the QBs eyes and has hands to finish the play with an INT, good hand-eye coordination
– Appeared to be used in more advanced NFL coverages, asked to pattern match and man #1 in cone coverage
– Impressive leaper who plays like he tests, does well to play the man and not the ball to disrupt throws and contest

The Bad

– Not an elite athlete, long speed appears just average
– Has trouble with his angles downhill, too sharp and has trouble adjusting to the runner’s path  and lacks that closing speed to be able to make up for it
– Isn’t a super physical player, mostly due to his average frame and much more of a drag-down tackler, especially in the open field, prone to getting run over
– Would like to see him fill the alley a little harder and more aggressively in the run game
– Trouble being able to find the ball in the air and are moments where he could play the ball but plays the man, making him vulnerable to pass interference calls


– 30 career starts
– Career: 189 tackles, 11 INTs, 4 FFs, 4 TFLs
– 2016: 64 tackles, 5 INTs, 2 FF
– First Team Pac-12 in 2015, second-team in 2016
– Left school as a junior
– WR/DB in high school, picked off six passes, caught 41 as a receiver

Tape Breakdown

I know many of you wanted to see a Marcus Williams’ profile…so here it is. Describing him is like describing vanilla ice cream, 60 degree weather, or a rerun of American Dad. It’s fine. Not great, not terrible.

He’s definitely a true free safety, far from an in-the-box type. That’s what he played with the Utes, the single high, free safety. He has good ball skills as the ten interceptions over his last two seasons would indicate. This was the best one I saw, taking a great angle to the football and making this over-the-shoulder catch.

He had one of the Combine’s best verticals, leaping 43.5 inches, and that matches up on tape. Watch him high point this football on the goal line to knock the throw down.

As a tackler, there’s effort, and he isn’t someone who shies away from the challenge. But he isn’t physical like Josh Jones and he’ll have to drag down a lot of players in the open field or coming downhill. When I say he gets run over, it isn’t William Gay trucked by Adrian Peterson but bigger guys are able to run through him with Williams having to hang on to finish the play. This a good example of what I mean.

Williams’ angles in coverage look good b coming downhill to tackle the catch or play the run, he runs into problems. Especially when he’s asked to adjust.

Generally, the Steelers seem more interested in bigger, more physical, strong safety types, though we still have more than half the pre-draft visitors to come in and they did talk to Williams at the Combine. And if they did go with a pure free safety, a stark contrast to Mike Mitchell, Williams would be an interesting Round 2 candidate.

Projection: Mid Day Two (Late 2nd)

Games Watched: vs BYU (2015), at California, at Arizona State, vs Indiana

Previous 2017 NFL Draft Player Profiles
Deshaun Watson Haason Reddick Marshon Lattimore Corey Clement Tim Williams
Jourdan Lewis Takkarist McKinley Brad Kaaya Nathan Peterman O.J. Howard
Charles Harris Alvin Kamara Tyus Bowser David Njoku DeMarcus Walker
Chidobe Awuzie DeShone Kizer Marlon Mack Cameron Sutton Zach Cunningham
Corey Davis Carl Lawson Patrick Mahomes Kareem Hunt Evan Engram
Derek Rivers Ryan Anderson Joshua Dobbs Jordan Leggett Samaje Perine
Corn Elder Bucky Hodges James Conner Cooper Kupp Stanley Williams
Fred Ross Jamaal Williams George Kittle Ejuan Price Chris Wormley
Jeremy McNichols Joe Mathis Derek Barnett Amba Etta-Tawo Gareon Conley
Taco Charlton  Elijah McGuire Ryan Switzer Tanoh Kpassagnon Tre’Davious White
Brian Hill Matthew Dayes Donnel Pumphrey Josh Reynolds Nazair Jones
De’Veon Smith Davis Webb Obi Melifonwu TJ Watt John Ross
Jerod Evans Vince Biegel Josh Carraway Josh Malone Kevin King
Fadol Brown Chris Godwin Nate Gerry Jordan Willis Stacy Coley
Zay Jones Jimmie Gilbert Glen Antoine Tarell Basham Duke Riley
Rayshawn Jenkins Chad Kelly Trey Hendrickson Jeremy Sprinkle Joe Williams
D’Onta Foreman Carlos Watkins Damontae Kazee Wayne Gallman Willie Quinn
Xavier Woods Elijah Hood Malik McDowell Desmond King Solomon Thomas
Cordrea Tankersley Raekwon McMillan Josh Harvey-Clemons Christian McCaffrey Chris Carson
Montravius Adams Aaron Jones Mack Hollins Deatrich Wise Jr Adoree’ Jackson
JuJu Smith-Schuster Josh Jones Davon Godchaux Lorenzo Jerome Quincy Wilson
Stevie Tu’ikolovatu Mike Williams Ahkello Witherspoon Dede Westbrook Tedric Thompson
Marcus Maye Joe Mixon Taywan Taylor Tyson Fernandez Jarrad Davis
Ishmael Zamora Daeshon Hall CJ Beathard Kendell Beckwith Jalen Reeves-Maybin
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