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Falato's Film Room: CB Rodarius Williams

Nick Falato breaks down the tape of New York Giants sixth-round pick cornerback Rodarius Williams.

This film study references to the following video highlights:

The Giants added another secondary piece with special teams upside with their last pick in the second round. Rodarius Williams, the 6’0 189-pound older brother of 2019 second-round pick Greedy Williams, joins the Giants at pick 201. Like the Giants' third-round pick Aaron Robinson, Williams has extensive playing time in press alignments--notice a trend here, Giants fans?

Williams played just under 3,000 snaps in four seasons at Oklahoma State. He recorded 150 tackles through the four seasons and missed 0 tackle attempts in 2020; the Giants put a high precedent on secondary pieces who are sound tacklers, and it’s apparent with the additions of Robinson and Williams.

At the 2:25 mark in the YouTube video, the technique is high and a bit off, but he can win with play strength and good grip. His film is filled with sound tackling, and he uses his large catch radius well to bring ball carriers to the ground; he wasn’t as good technically with his tackling and was a bit wild in 2019, so it was good to see him really focus on his fundamentals.

I personally am a stickler for tackling. It’s the one expected trait that every defender should possess, yet they don’t. I love how Joe Judge puts a priority on aggressive tackling corners who are good run defenders. According to Pro Football Focus, Rodarius Williams ranks fifth among cornerbacks with his tackling grade.

He’s an average athlete for the position. He’s high cut in the waist, which hinders his ability to unlock superior agility traits and change of direction, so that may be an issue with horizontal breaking routes in the NFL if he doesn’t anticipate the break well or is late to react. 

Williams only had two career interceptions in college, but he got his hands on the football 27 times, and, as you can see in the video (around the 1:40 mark), he causes interceptions by getting his hands on the football.

In 255 coverage snaps, he surrendered 0 touchdowns in the Big-12 during the 2020 season. With more linear routes, he’s pretty sticky in man coverage and does a good job harassing receivers up their stem. 

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This can be seen on most plays in the video that feature him covering deep nine routes - he’s in the hip pocket of the receiver quite a bit. This can be seen around the 17-second mark and again around the 1:25 mark. He also does well around the 1:30 mark to feel the receiver’s location while getting his inside hand up to disrupt and knock the pass away.


As the routes break a bit more to the inside, his effectiveness wanes. I love the fact that he has experience in press, but I question his agility against the NFL wide receiver’s releases. If his footwork and decision-making aren’t excellent against top competition, then his sustainability to be stacked may be exploited due to his lack of hip fluidity and lateral quickness in transitions.

However, Williams does a really good job at around the 35-second mark against West Virginia; he closes on horizontal routes quickly and gets his hands through the catch point. Coaching can also make his press technique a bit better, but there are athletic limitations here.

However, if he utilizes patience at the line, he uses the right amount of subtle physicality to ride receivers up their stem once the route is declared. Ball disruption at the catch point and toughness as a pass defender and in run support are some of my favorite qualities about Rodarius Williams.

He does a solid overall job reading route concepts and using his length to close throwing windows and attack the football. This suggests a solid zone defender. He diagnoses the offense well and does an adequate job clicking & closing on routes underneath while punching through catch points.

Final Thoughts

Overall, Williams is an effective physical player in run support who should help the special teams while battling for one of the final roster spots for the defensive backs. I love his knack for disrupting the catch point, and his linear athletic ability is solid. However, his transitions aren’t crisp due to a lack of overall lateral agility. With some coaching, he may be able to become even more effective in press.

The film here is littered with good plays on the football and a solid instinctive nature. He’s no lock to make the roster but a solid addition who should compete and bring his aggressiveness to the secondary room. 

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