The 2019 cornerback class has been something of a disappointment. Much of that is due to several of the perceived “top” cornerbacks failing to take the expected step forward this past year.
But while the top corners didn’t quite live up to expectations, some of the less heralded corners exceeded them, making for some intriguing mid-round options. That is good news for the New York Giants who need to both build depth at the position and find long-term options they can develop.
If there is one cornerback who could interest them, it is Joejuan Williams out of Vanderbilt. Not only does Williams have the kind of physical profile both James Bettcher and Dave Gettleman have favored in cornerbacks in the past, but with Pat Shurmur’s son (Vandy quarterback Kyle Shurmur) practicing against Williams every day, they should have one of the best scouting reports on him in the NFL.
- Outstanding size and length for the position.
- Effectively able to use his size to bully smaller receivers.
- Shows solid patience before opening hips.
- Physical in the run game.
- Quick and willing to come downhill.
- Pedestrian athleticism for a corner.
- Will struggle against quick receivers when he isn’t able to jam them.
- Doesn’t have make-up speed if he is beat early.
- Technique needs improvement.
What They’re Saying
Long press corner who has shown an ability to use his size and aggression as a zealot in contested catch battles. While he has traits to build upon, the Georgia game shined a light on his press inefficiency, lack of speed and inconsistent ball skills with his back to the quarterback. Coaching and scheme can improve or cover some of those areas, but the early results could be a bit uneven. If the technique catches up with the traits, the play demeanor and talent should make him a solid NFL starter.
- Lance Zierlein (NFL.com - Scouting Report)
Does He Fit The Giants?
If the Giants are looking for long, physical press corners with traits to develop, then Joejuan Williams is a potential mid-round pick to keep an eye on.
He isn’t the fastest corner, but at 6-foot 3 ⅝ inches and 211 pounds, he doesn’t need to be. With his length, strength, and physicality, he can knock most receivers off of their routes and break the timing of a play almost before it starts. From there, he is usually shows patience before opening his hips to run with receivers and the ability to stay in tight coverage.
That being said, if a quick receiver has a strong release against press coverage, or the offense schemes a free release using a bunch formation, Williams can be in trouble if he isn’t able to get in phase with the receiver. He is relatively slow for a corner, but that doesn’t show up as long as he is able to stay in their hip pocket, however it does show up when he is beaten and the receiver is able to gain some separation.
Williams is physical and fearless in run support, quickly triggering to come downhill and take on blockers or get after the ball carrier.
If the Giants are able to polish his technique in press coverage to help cover his athletic limitations, Williams has intriguing upside as a potential starting corner.