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Can CB Rodarius Williams make up for a lost rookie season?

Williams is coming off an ACL tear and still needs to prove himself

Syndication: Akron Beacon Journal PHIL MASTURZO via Imagn Content Services, LLC

Rodarius Williams had less than five games last year to try and show the New York Giants that he was a part of their future before going down with an ACL tear. The results were far from inspiring.

With a new coaching staff, does Williams still have a place on the team? Let’s discuss as we profile the final few players on the Giants’ 90-man roster.

By the numbers

Height: 6 feet
Weight: 195
Age: 25
Position: Cornerback
Experience: One year
Contract: Year 2 of four-year, $3.653 million rookie deal | 2022 cap hit: $868,284

Career to date

The Giants drafted Williams in the sixth round last year following a five-year career at Oklahoma State. He was the Cowboys’ starting cornerback for four years. Williams wasn’t flashy, but he was consistent. He started 48 consecutive games - the longest active streak in the FBS at the time - and ranks sixth in program history with 31 pass breakups. Both of his career interceptions came in his sophomore year.

However, Williams remains something of an enigma at the NFL level. He played only 50 snaps on defense as a rookie before tearing his ACL against the Dallas Cowboys in Week 5. The results in that limited window were disappointing: Williams allowed four receptions on four targets for 70 yards and a touchdown.

2022 outlook

Williams is a difficult player to project. His rookie season was mostly lost, and he still has not practiced this offseason so it’s hard to say what the new coaching staff thinks of him.

But given the Giants’ lack of depth at cornerback and all the unknowns surrounding him, Williams could make the 53-man roster and get a redo of his rookie season. He has a new defensive coordinator in Wink Martindale, and James Bradberry’s departure gives him the opportunity to possibly be the third option on the boundary behind expected starters Adoree’ Jackson and Aaron Robinson.

Williams entered the league with concerns about his athleticism and instincts for finding the ball. Here’s his original scouting report from NFL.com:

His size and expected straight-line speed will work in his favor. However, Williams might be lacking the natural athletic attributes to handle press duties and the instincts needed for zone. If coaching can tighten up his press technique, he might be in consideration as a Cover 2 cornerback with the ability to step up and support the run. He’s become better at staying in phase with the route and can be a handful to deal with on 50-50 throws due to his size and physical nature. Finding a good scheme fit will be key, but he has a decent chance of earning a spot as a backup.

Williams will need to alleviate at least some of those concerns in training camp to lock up a roster spot and earn a spot on the depth chart ahead of more experienced options like Maurice Canady.