The New York Giants used one of their seventh-round picks on Minnesota’s Chris Williamson. Let’s evaluate some of his on-field strengths.
With the No. 247 overall pick in this year’s NFL Draft, the New York Giants decided to add another cornerback to the mix. They ultimately chose the University of Minnesota’s Chris Williamson, who’s expected to come in, compete for a spot on the active roster, and attempt to raise the eyebrows of this coaching staff.
At 22 years old, Williamson is a raw prospect who will need to put in the work, but that doesn’t mean he’s without talent. The Giants obviously see something in him that they like or else they wouldn’t have used one of their 10 picks on him.
So what exactly will he be able to bring to the table while in East Rutherford?
ESNY’s Giants film room series continues with the Golden Gopher’s collegiate tape.
Film room notes
This first set of clips is from Minnesota’s 34-7 win over Nebraska this past season. Williamson racked up eight total tackles (five solo) with .5 tackles for loss and .5 sacks in the victory.
Williamson actually plays the role of slot corner a plentiful amount. This is huge, considering he’ll likely be competing at that spot in the pros.
During this early-game play, Williamson portrays the ability to come up after a reception from the tight end, wrap up, drive the feet, and make the big tackle after just a two-yard gain for the Cornhuskers.
Another great tackle came on this second-quarter play, in which Williamson doesn’t fly up out of control and is able to use that long wingspan in order to bring down Nebraska quarterback Noah Vedral.
Williamson can additionally rush the passer from the slot corner position, as shown in the upcoming clip. He puts great speed on display en route to Vedral.
Later in the game, Williamson shows off his above-average coverage skills on a fourth-quarter play. As the quarterback rolls out of the pocket, Chris sticks with his man in the flat and plays a role in what ends up becoming a third-down incompletion for Nebraska.
This next clip is from Minnesota’s 2018 loss to Ohio State. Williamson is able to portray his physicality as a defensive back, shedding the block en route to bringing down the Buckeye ball carrier.
He’s then able to make the same type of play in the upcoming clip, which is from Minnesota’s 2018 victory over the Purdue Boilermakers.
During the Golden Gopher’s 2018 defeat at the hands of Northwestern, Williamson portrays his great pass-rushing speed on a sack of quarterback Clayton Thorson.
Finally, we have Williamson showing off his coverage skills in two more scenarios, the first of which is from Minnesota’s 2018 win over Wisconsin where he actually picks off a pass from Badgers quarterback Alex Hornibrook.
And then the second is from the win over Purdue where he makes contact with the receiver and forces an incompletion of quarterback David Blough.
The physicality and athleticism are both very clear when watching Williamson play, which will be nothing but a benefit in regards to him intriguing his coaches. Right now, he’s near the bottom of the depth chart among what’s going to be an interesting position battle at the nickel corner spot and will need to do anything he can to impress.
For what it’s worth, Giants nickel corners Corey Ballentine and Grant Haley combined for 69 total tackles (57 solo) last year, so the ability to come up and make contact with the ball carrier is crucial from that spot. Williamson has the speed and strength to show off that skill.
He still has to put in a ton of work though, there’s no question about it. But all in all, Williamson continues the trend of the Giants’ 2020 picks possessing on-field versatility, and that could give him an advantage over other potential Big Blue slot corners when training camp commences.