New York Giants Draft Breakdown-Jaciquan Williams, LB, USF

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Jerry Reese’s thought on Jacquian Williams: “the linebacker from South Florida, fast, athletic. The guy will strike you, will give us some more speed on our special teams. Junior college kid, so he’ll be behind a little bit with regard to high level of play. Came there late, to South Florida, but he got into the mix really quickly there and just took off. A lot of people probably didn’t know him. Our scouts really did a good job digging this guy out. We think he can really give us a boost on special teams with his speed while he’s learning how to play up here at this level.”

And then Director of Scouting Marc Ross says about Williams:

Q:  Why do you think people don’t know much about Williams?

A:  It was his first year there where he really played. Like I said, he only played around 220.  So if you went in there, you saw a 220 linebacker, you might say, “Okay, we won’t look at him.”  But he jumps off the tape at you because of his speed and competitiveness.  And he flies around.  And since South Florida had about eight guys on defense that you have to look at, he was just under the radar because of him being a developer, and just not a high profile name.

The Good

Williams has a good amount of upside. He is fast for a linebacker, he ran a 40 yard dash at 4.53 at his pro-day, had a 9’8” broad jump, and had 17 reps on his bench press. He also has good size at 6’2”  though he’s light for a linebacker weighing in at 231 pounds. He also has worked his way up the ranks, going from a community college, to a backup at USF to a starter. He was moderately productive this season at USF with 69 tackles (11 for loss) 2.5 sacks and an interception.

Good in coverage and should be a player who can come in immediately and make an impact on Special teams, and also excels in coverage. Also if you find and read an interview with Williams anywhere he seems like a guy with his head on straight and a high character guy.

The Bad

This was a bad value pick. In their interviews the Giants mentioned more than once that he’s an “under the radar” guy and our scouts did a good job of picking him up. They practically said they didn’t think anyone else was drafting this guy, so why not wait until the 7th round or bring him in has a UDFA? That was a little interesting to me.

He doesn’t have a lot of experience playing at a high level, which means he’ll come in the league a bit raw. The Giants really need help at linebacker, but is Williams the guy who will give them that? He’s a project. He also is seems best suited for the WILL position.

The Grade

C-

I really didn’t like this pick in the immediate after math of the pick, but since then I’ve been coming around a bit on the pick. I understand it much better than I initially did. The Giants special teams unit was atrocious last year. He should help out with that immediately. The other thing is that Williams could develop into a player who the Giants bring in for their nickel and dime packages to cover because he has good speed and is a plus pass defender. Still, with that being said would any team have drafted Williams between their pick there and the Giants last pick…or even in the draft at all? I’m not really sure. It seems unlikely. The Giants mentioned how off the radar he was, so why did they grab him in the 6th round?

You can’t really go overboard with 6th round picks and I wish I could give this a B Grade and I think the philosophy of the pick is a B, as I’ve said numerous times: late in the draft grab guys you think can fill niches because most late round picks won’t last long in the league,  Williams has a niche-special teams contributor and pass defense, but with that being said the value of the player here is below average as the Giants themselves seem to indicate.

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