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Can Rodarius Williams stand out from other Giants cornerbacks?

Williams must make up for lost time

NFL: International Series-New York Giants Practice Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports

Rodarius Williams is one of a few young New York Giants defenders who have spent almost their entire careers on Injured Reserve.

Because of an ACL tear suffered during his rookie season, Williams is entering his third season with just eight games of experience. Let’s try and figure out whether Williams still has a role in New York’s defense.

By the numbers

Height: 6 feet
Weight: 195
Age: 26
Position: Cornerback
Experience: 3
Contract: Year 3 of four-year, $3.653 million rookie deal | 2023 cap hit: $983,284

Career to date

The Giants selected Williams in the sixth round of the 2021 draft, following a four-year career at Oklahoma State that saw him set the school record with 48 consecutive starts. Scouting reports at the time indicated that Williams had the length and physicality to succeed in the NFL but would need work to develop his technique.

The Giants were using Williams as a rotational piece before he tore his ACL in Week 5 of his rookie season. It took him until November of 2022 to return to the active roster.

When Williams did recover, the Giants’ new coaching staff did not show much faith in him. After seeing meaningful snaps in Week 11 and recording his first interception in Week 12, Williams was benched and undrafted free agent Zyon Gilbert was activated off the practice squad. He did not see the field again until a meaningless Week 18 game, and airing out his grievances over social media did little to change that.

In last year’s sample size, Williams allowed 151 yards and 11 completions on 16 targets for a passer rating of 72.7. He also had 15 tackles.

2023 outlook

Williams has played a total of 197 snaps in two years and is no longer with the coaching staff that drafted him. He will likely struggle to secure a roster spot this year.

New York drafted two cornerbacks this year, Deonte Banks and Tre Hawkins III. If they keep only five cornerbacks on the roster, that would almost certainly keep Williams out of the picture. A sixth or seventh roster spot could potentially open the door, but Williams would be competing with Gilbert and more experienced options like Darnay Holmes and Amani Oruwariye. There are currently 12 cornerbacks on the roster.

This will be Williams’ first healthy training camp with the current Giants coaches, so it’s possible he impresses them and makes a bid to stick around. If cut, he would be a candidate for the practice squad.