Prospect: OLB Jaraye Williams
Projected Position: Off-Ball Linebacker (Sam)
Status: SI All-American candidate
Vitals: 6-foot-3, 197 pounds
School: Burien (Wash.) Kennedy Catholic
Committed to: Louisville
Frame: Athletic with fairly wide shoulders. Long arms. Tight and narrow in torso through midsection with straight lower base.
Athleticism: Has a basketball background. Very good athlete with ideal movement skills for today’s game. Good play speed and range. Easy relate ability in coverage to 2 and 3 in the pass game. Fluid hips to flip from pedal to carry threats. Assertive from edge to squeeze to ball-carriers with good surf technique in short lateral pursuit and has speed to hunt and chase long.
Instincts: Plays with very good mesh-point vision when aligned as single-high post safety. Consistent and reliable to maintain outside leverage versus run when aligned on the ball. Keeps outside arm free in take-on phase versus lead blocks and kick-outs. Clicks and closes with proper angles to ball-carriers. Good zone eyes and works with patience versus route combos in coverage, along with solid high-point ability versus throws.
Polish: Versatile defender who plays in the boundary when he’s on the ball, yet is also asked to play in the post in cover-1 and cover-3 concepts. Must continue adding strength and mass, as he can melt a bit at collision points when tackling. Needs to improve consistency of attacking throws with inside arm/hand in pass-breakups.
Bottom Line: Williams’ father, Terrence played basketball at Louisville and in the NBA. The younger Williams has the athleticism and zone coverage skills to play all three downs in today’s game. While he needs to improve his strength and add to his frame, his speed and vision will be among his top qualities at the next level. Williams projects best as a Sam ‘backer in a 4-3, though has versatility and experience to work as a Will as well.