by Ryan Myers
Photo courtesy of 247Sports.
At Draft 412, the NFL draft talk never ends. We will keep you ready for the next set of gridiron stars—from today and all the way until draft night 2024. We will bring you mock drafts, player profiles, individual team needs, and everything else you may need related to the 2024 NFL Draft.
Today’s Spotlight - Oregon, Safety, Evan Williams
Name - Evan Williams
Pos - Safety
Team - Oregon
HT/WT - 6’1” 205 lbs.
Born - N/A
Home – Campbell, CA
Evan Williams is a safety out of St. Francis High School in Campbell, CA. As a senior, Williams finished with 891 receiving yards and became Saint Francis’s all-time TD reception leader in a season and career. In 2018, he was named the West Catholic Athletic League Player of the Year, CCS All-Around Player of the Year, and first team All-Norcal. He earned a 3-star rating from 247sports and decided to stay close to home for college, signing with Fresno State.
As a freshman, Williams played in all 12 games for Fresno State and started in 7 of them. He accrued 40 tackles, 31 of them solo, and an interception in the 12 games. He made an immediate impact on the Bulldogs' defense as he was seventh on the team in tackles and first among freshmen. His best season came in his Junior year in 2021 where he was able to make 90 tackles, 59 of them solo, 4.5 TFL and 3 interceptions. He was the team leader in tackles and was turning heads not only around the conference, but around the country. This helped him gain enough attention to transfer to Oregon for his grad year.
Now a grad transfer at Oregon, Williams has appeared in 4 games and tallied 18 tackles, including 2.5 sacks. He has been a proven leader and a huge piece of the Ducks' secondary.
Williams has plenty of pro upside to his game. He’s a long, physical safety with high end ball-tracking ability. He has the frame to endure the rigors of the NFL game and has added muscle and weight, allowing him to be more of a physical presence. He uses his height and long arms well in man-coverage, and possesses enough speed to recover well from missteps in coverage. He doesn’t fear engaging receivers on the line and is a proven ball hawk, forcing turnovers. He’s heady and stays away from drawing flags in coverage and has a knack for turning his head at the right time to read the pass.
However Williams will need to improve his play, making faster reads in zone coverage at the next level. He makes up for mistakes with his quickness and physicality at the NCAA level, but this will be exposed in the pros. He also tends to be lazy at times in his mechanics, especially when it comes to zone defense.
Lazy Mechanics at times
Evan Williams is a good coverage safety who excels in run-support. He has the speed necessary to keep up with most receivers and has the length and ball skills to force turnovers and be a nuisance for offenses when it comes to his man coverage. He has an NFL-ready frame at 6’1” and 205 pounds and has proven to be a leader on the Oregon defense. His versatility will help him find a roster spot late in the draft, and he will be a welcome addition for any NFL defense.
Draft 412 Draft Projection - Round 5 or Round 6