Jan 26, 2013; Mobile, AL, USA; Senior Bowl south squad defensive back Shawn Williams of Georgia (26) against the Senior Bowl north squad during the first half of the Senior Bowl at Ladd-Peebles Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Derick E. Hingle-USA TODAY Sports
The Bengals came into the 2013 NFL Draft in dire need of help at the safety potion, and they addressed it with the selection of Georgia’s Shawn Williams in the third-round.
With several more prominent safeties still on the board at pick #84, including Williams’ fellow Bulldog teammate Bacarri Rambo, fans and media members instantly began criticizing the pick without even watching much more than a single You Tube highlight reel.
While no one is mistaking Williams for the next John Lynch or Rodney Harrison, Williams has the physicality and athleticism Mike Zimmer loves to have in his safeties, particularly at strong safety.
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 withing 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.