2011 NFL Draft Player Profile | Deunta Williams
Deunta Williams is yet another of those coveted North Carolina defenders who made an impact at the collegiate level.
The White Oak High School product was a four star recruit as a free safety and he came in as a freshman to make plays immediately. He is a four year starter who’s experience has only seemed to help him grow as a total package player.
Williams had an uncharacteristic senior season after starting off missing the first four games due to the Player/Agent scandal that we all have heard numerous reports about. But you can’t doubt his overall play making ability and athleticism.
Player Name: Deunta Williams
Position: Free Safety
School: North Carolina
Williams is an excellent ball hawking safety with fantastic instincts. He’s excellent in diagnosing and differentiating between the run and the pass, and he doesn’t get sucked in against the play action. He is exceptional in zone coverage, and has the speed and quickness to cover a half of the field, or even play centerfield. Williams does a nice job baiting quarterbacks into throwing into his zone and breaking on the football when it’s in the air. He has soft hands for making the catch, and does a nice job of breaking up passes in the air. He is a sideline to sideline player with a very solid blend of size and speed.
Williams needs to improve in man coverage. Some talks of him playing corner at the next level have begun, and it won’t happen until he gets more fluid when changing direction and getting a quicker and lower back pedal. While he’s not a liability in the run game, he’s not the greatest tackler, often taking bad angles, and struggling to get off of blocks when needed. He needs to improve on breaking down in the open field and wrapping up nice and low on the ball carrier. He broke his fibula down by his ankle in the North Carolina bowl game, which prevented him from playing in any all-star games, and seems to get banged up with nagging injuries.
Williams is a very close first round talent, but with his latest injury, he’ll likely fall to the middle of the second round, and early third at the very latest. His coverage and ball hawking ability is hard to pass up in the second, especially for a guy who was touted as highly as a Top 15 pick prior to the season. I think it will be hard for Dallas to pass him up with pick 40. Houston, Minnesota, San Francisco, Denver, and Jacksonville also will take a hard look at him, and he should be off the board by pick 49.
NFL Comparison: Antoine Bethea