More so than ever before, this is a pass-happy league. Due to this, you can make a real argument that a solid man-to-man cornerback is one of the more important positions on the football field.
A great cornerback can completely change a defense. Just a few years ago, Patriots cornerback Stephon Gilmore won Defensive Player of the Year for his exceptional 2019 season. That same year, the Rams forked over two future first-round picks for Jalen Ramsey’s services. You could make the argument that’s actually a bargain for Ramsey.
The top cornerbacks in this draft via most media outlets and scouts seem to be Caleb Farley, Jaycee Horn, and Patrick Surtain II. However, there is incredible value later on. One name to look out for is none other than Oklahoma State cornerback, Rodarius Williams.
Williams is a 6’0 195-pound cornerback who played the past four years for the Big-12’s Cowboys. Williams is ranked number 158 on the PFF big board and actually earned an 80.1-grade last year via PFF. That mark ranked 25th among over 500 cornerbacks graded last season.
What makes Williams so dominant as a cornerback?
“Dawg mentality and being fearless,” Williams said.
In his Oklahoma State career, Williams played 45 games and recorded 169 total tackles, five and a half for a loss, two interceptions, and 27 passes broken up. Williams last year played in 255 coverage snaps and didn’t allow a single touchdown via PFF. Due to Williams's stout play on the field, the Cowboy's defense improved in each of the past two seasons in terms of points and yards allowed.
Williams is a 6’0 corner with solid measurables all around. He tested above average among cornerbacks in the vertical jump (36.5”) and the broad jump (123”.) His physical tools are actually very similar to former All-Pro cornerback, Antrel Rolle.
Williams after a great 2020 campaign has enjoyed showing out for scouts and NFL personnel alike.
“(The draft process) has been wonderful,” Williams said.
One reason Jaycee Horn has catapulted up the draft boards is due to the fact that the NFL is in his DNA. His father, Joe Horn, is a former four-time Pro Bowl wide receiver for New Orleans. Williams also has NFL in his DNA. His younger brother, Greedy, was the 46th selection in the 2019 NFL draft.
The younger Williams played 12 games his rookie year registering 47 total tackles and two passes broken up for the Cleveland Browns. He earned a 54.6 PFF grade and notably a 65.4 PFF grade in run defense. He, unfortunately, missed all of 2020 due to an injury to his shoulder.
The older Williams has taken notice and has learned from his younger brother about what the next level of competition is like.
“I learned how to properly take care of my body far as training goes,” Williams said.
Williams will enter the NFL as one of the more experienced cornerbacks in this draft. He’s played in more games than Caleb Farley and Greg Newsome II combined. Each is expected to be first-round picks.
“Maturity, hard-work, and determination,” Williams said on what he can bring to an NFL roster.
Whichever franchise that selects Williams is going to be receiving one of the more NFL-ready cornerbacks in this draft. He’s a guy who you can be able to leave on an island due to his intangibles and experience.
Like Greedy Williams before him, Rodarius is ready to show the NFL what the Williams family is all about.
Rodarius, who idolized fellow Shreveport, Louisiana cornerback Morris Claiborne growing up, wants fans to know one thing.
“Fans should know that I’m the corner they want on their team!”