This is the eighth in our series of articles taking a deeper dive using data and game with the use of data and game film into the Giants' 2020 draft class. We have already studied Andrew Thomas, Xavier McKinney, Matt Peart, Shane Lemieux, Cam Brown, Carter Coughlin and TJ Brunson. Here is a look at University of Minnesota defensive back Chris Williamson, the team's third seventh round selection.
Chris Williamson was not invited to the NFL Combine. At the East-West Shrine Game, he measured 5-11 ½ and 199 pounds. At Minnesota, his weight was listed at 205 pounds. Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, he was not able to have a pro day. Without scores for athletic testing, there are no methods to measure his athletic ability relative to other players.
College History (Advanced Production Numbers Courtesy of Pro Football Focus)
2015: True Freshman Season (Florida) – 5 games, no starts
PFF Numbers: None
2016: Sophomore Season (Florida) – 9 games, one start at cornerback
PFF Numbers: 5 tackles
2017: Sat out due to transfer rules
2018: Junior Season (Minnesota) – 11 games, no starts
PFF Numbers: 34 tackles, 3.5 tackles for loss, 1 forced fumble, 1 sack, 5 passes defended, 1 interception, 2 forced incompletions
2019: Senior Season – 13 games, 9 starts at cornerback
PFF Numbers: 57 tackles, 4 tackles for loss, 2.5 sacks, 4 passes defended, 1 interception returned for TD, 2 forced incompletions
Overall: UDFA projection on PFF Draft Board.
Injuries: Hamstring injury in his first season at Florida.
Athletic Background: Williamson was a 3-star recruit coming out of Gainesville (Ga.) High School where he excelled as a cornerback and wide receiver, catching 76 passes for 1,402 yards and 20 touchdowns. Former NFL cornerback Ray Buchanan, a Pro Bowler, has mentored Williamson.
View photos of the entire 10-member New York Giants 2020 Draft Class
Williamson played only 164 snaps as a wide cornerback in college, with only 11 of those snaps coming in his senior season. He spent most of his time at nickel cornerback (637 snaps) and in a hybrid nickel role near the line of scrimmage (215 snaps).
On this play, Williamson drops into zone from inside cornerback. He keeps his eye on the quarterback, anticipates the throw and gets there in time to grab the interception.
On his other interception, the opposing quarterback is pressured, and Williamson does a good job keeping his eye on the quarterback and positioning himself to take advantage of a bad decision and poor throw. He also has the speed to take the ball to the house.
Williamson shows good deep speed, playing this post route one-on-one with no deep help. He stays attached to the wide receiver, and gets his hand on the ball to prevent the deep catch.
On this red zone play, Williamson is initially a step behind on the corner fade from the inside receiver. He manages to make up the distance with his speed and get his head around as the ball arrives to knock it away.
On this screen pass, Williamson closes quickly and brings down the receiver with a form tackle.
Players in the slot are often asked to blitz, which Williamson does on these two plays. He is unblocked, but controls his rush to bring down the quarterback.
Nickel cornerbacks must also be able to stop the run. Williamson is not shy about being physical at the line of scrimmage, showing no hesitation to fill the hole and make sound solo tackles on these three run plays.
Finally, Williamson shows his range playing backside run defense. His initial angle is off target, allowing the running back to get around him, but he shows his speed to track the runner down before he can turn the corner.