ICYMI: Bengals Player Preview: Georgia Bulldogs Safety Shawn Williams

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October 1, 2011; Athens, GA, USA; Georgia Bulldogs safety Shawn Williams (36) reacts with cornerback Branden Smith (1) after intercepting a pass at the end of the game against the Mississippi State Bulldogs during the fourth quarter at Sanford Stadium. Georgia defeated Mississippi State 24-10. Mandatory Credit: Dale Zanine-USA TODAY Sports

 

Shawn Williams, Safety, Georgia

Birth date: May 13, 1991

Hometown: Damascus, Georgia

High School: Early County High School in Blakely, Georgia

 

Combine Results and Measurements

Height: 6’0″

Weight: 213 pounds

Arm Length: 30 3/4″

Hand Size: 8 3/8″

Broad Jump: 120.0″

40-Yard Dash: 4.46

Three-Cone Drill: 7.01

20-Yard Shuttle: 4.25

Vertical Jump: 36.0″

Bench Press: 25 reps

 

College Statistics

Year

Class

Solo

Ast

Tot

Loss

Sk

Int

Yds

Avg

TD

PD

TD

FF

2009*

FR

3

2

5

0.0

0.0

0

0

0

0

0

0

2010*

SO

25

9

34

0.0

0.0

0

0

0

1

0

0

2011*

JR

48

24

72

5.0

0.0

4

58

14.5

0

10

0

1

2012*

SR

56

42

98

5.5

1.0

0

0

0

4

0

1

Career

 

132

77

209

10.5

1.0

4

58

14.5

0

15

0

2

 

 

Despite not having registered a single snap in the NFL, the Cincinnati Bengals have high expectations for former Georgia Bulldogs safety Shawn Williams. He’ already being projected to be the opening-day starting strong safety, and he may end up getting the most playing time this year of any Bengals rookie, despite being the fourth player the team drafted.

Williams will be the 7th player on the Bengals roster from the University of Georgia. I believe that Williams will be another mid-round gem out of “UGA”, who will flourish as a Bengal. During his collegiate career, Williams made 30 starts at strong safety, and racked up 208 tackles and 4 interceptions.

Williams is also very durable, as he appeared in 14 games last year while making 14 starts, and was second on the team with 98 tackles and had 5.5 tackles-for-loss. He was also regarded as one of the most influential leaders on a Bulldogs team that came within 4 yards of beating Alabama in the SEC Championship and ultimately playing for a National Championship. He was elected as the team’s defensive captain and was the recipient of the Coaches’ Leadership Award and the Frank Sinkwich Toughness Award.

Despite not getting selected until late on Day 2 of the NFL Draft, Williams has an opportunity that most 3rd-round selections don’t get, and that is a real opportunity to be the opening day starter. With Taylor Mays being his main competition in camp, I look for Williams to beat out Mays for the job and become an instant contributor from day one. Williams is a Natural leader, and at 6ft 218 lbs, he is what you call a “box safety”, which will compliment Reggie Nelson well who is more of a “field safety”.

Both though can play coverage and tackle which is what DC Mike Zimmer wants, versatility. Together, Zimmer will be more flexible in his exotic blitz packages involving the safeties. Williams possesses all the physical and mental tools you look for in a safety. Quick, aggressive, calls signals on the field and not afraid to put a hit on someone. Look for Williams to be a key contributor down the stretch, after he’s adjusted to the speed of the game.

 

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