Former Nevada Wolfpack star safety Duke Williams is off the board, as the Buffalo Bills have pounced on the 5’11″, 203 pound safety with the 105th pick in the 2013 NFL Draft. There were no shortage of conflicting opinions on Williams heading into the draft, and Williams is a notable prospect from a New England Patriots perspective. He took a pre-draft visit earlier this month to the Patriots, visited the Indianapolis Colts, and now he is right in the AFC East division after being selected by the Buffalo Bills.
The Bills surprisingly released current Tennessee Titans safety George Wilson earlier this offseason, and that was a move I was highly critical of. But Da’Norris Searcy was a great backup to Wilson, and it sounds like the Bills goal was to go younger at the safety position. Williams will be part of that youth movement, and he could be another enforcing safety for the Bills.
Williams is at his best in run support, and the stats back that up. In his career at Nevada, Williams had over 15.5 tackles for loss and had a hand in several turnovers. He could play at either strong safety or free safety, in my opinion, and Williams is a versatile defensive back. He can cover receivers in the slot, cover underneath routes, play in the box, and play in deep coverage. There is a lot of boom-or-bust with Williams, especially in coverage. But in the fourth round, I think the Bills made a great choice in deciding to pull him off the board. He has character concerns, but I definitely think his talent outweighs those issues.
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