Former New York Giants GM Jerry Reese used to say that many NFL players are already out of the league by the time they turn 25. That’s a young age in most walks of life. It’s an old one in the NFL if you haven’t already proven that you belong.
Giants’ rookie cornerback Rodarius Williams, selected in the sixth round of the 2021 NFL Draft, is hoping to begin an NFL journey at that age. Williams, in fact, will turn 25 on Sept. 12, the day the Giants host the Denver Broncos to open their 2021 season.
The Giants weren’t turned off by his age. They were, rather, attracted to his skill set.
“We had a solid value on him on the board,” said GM Dave Gettleman. “He’s athletic. He’s fast. He can carry the vertical. He plays our style. He’s a press corner and we were just very pleased to see him there.”
Let’s look at where Williams might fit in a crowded Giants’ secondary as we continue our player-by-player profiles of the 90-man roster that will soon be reporting to training camp.
Age: Turns 25 on Sept. 12, the day the Giants open their 2021 season
Contract: Year 1 of four-year, $3.653 million contract | Guaranteed: $173,136 | 2021 cap hit: $703,284
Career to date
Williams is the older brother of Greedy Williams, a second round pick of the Cleveland Browns in 2019. While Greedy spent just three seasons, including a redshirt year, at LSU Rodarius spent five full years at Oklahoma State.
Williams played in 45 collegiate games. He had only two interceptions, but defended 27 passes.
Tony Pauline of Pro Football Network offered this scouting report:
Nice-sized cornerback who flashed skill the past three seasons. Mixes it up with receivers battling throughout the route, stays on the opponent’s hip out of breaks, and effectively times his pass defenses.
Reads the receiver’s eyes, gets his head back around to track the pass in the air, and posi- tions himself against opponents to defend the throw. Fights to get off blocks and make plays against the run.
Slow reacting to receivers’ moves off the line. Does not play to his 40 time. Deep speed may be a concern. Face guards opponents too often.
Williams has a fight on his hands to simply make the 53-man roster, but he does have. the advantage of being a player the Giants fits the profile of what they want at cornerback.
Can he win a competition with players like Isaac Yiadom, Sam Beal, Madre Harper, Joshua Kalu, Jarren Williams and Chris Milton for a spot as a backup cornerback?
We will all just have to find out together.