Trill Williams - CB/S, Syracuse
By the numbers:
6'2", 198 pounds.
2020: 23 tackles (1.0 for loss), four passes broken up, one interception in five games played.
Trill Williams has a rare blend of size and speed. He's a lengthy defensive back who can keep up with most receivers. In today's NFL, he poses as a matchup problem for wideouts that usually rely on their height or swiftness to win reps. Williams closes quickly on plays ahead of him and is an aggressive player overall.
With Williams' aggressiveness comes great physicality and innate competitiveness. He's a willing and capable run defender and a solid tackler in general. He brings good energy and effort to every snap and isn't afraid to get his hands dirty. He has familiarity in press-man coverage, which allowed him to showcase his traits at Syracuse alongside fellow physical specimen Ifeatu Melifonwu. Williams spent time on the inside and outside in college, as well as playing some safety.
The most glaring weakness in Williams' game is his lack of fluid hips. For such a good athlete, he's a bit stiff in his movements. He takes long strides which helps him downfield but when working in the shallower areas of the field, that isn't as effective. Williams' man coverage tools aren't as sharp as they should be. Whether he improves them will make or break his future as a cornerback.
Speaking of his future, Williams doesn't have a clearly-defined position. Is he smooth enough to stick at cornerback long-term? Will he play on the boundary or be kicked inside to the slot? Do his zone coverage skills and physicality make him more of a safety at the next level? All of these questions will have to be answered by his first NFL team.
How Williams fits with the Chiefs:
With Charvarius Ward (restricted) and Bashaud Breeland (unrestricted) hitting the free agent market, adding a depth piece at cornerback will be key for the Chiefs. Backup safety could also become a need if Daniel Sorensen signs elsewhere. Physical play and versatility are valued commodities in Steve Spagnuolo's defense, and Williams offers both. He'd be a good fit in the secondary.
Williams is the definition of a high-risk, high-reward player. His length and athleticism simply can't be taught, and he's a smart defensive back who plays hard. L'Jarius Sneed's downfall in many predraft scouting reports was his ability to stick in man coverage, which is similar to how Williams is talked about. Williams is worth a shot as depth at cornerback and if that doesn't work out, he has the tools to possibly transition to safety and still carve out a role. He grades out as a fourth-round pick.