The Cleveland Browns selected cornerback Greedy Williams, who will create one of the best young cornerback duos in the NFL.
The Cleveland Browns had to wait until the second day of the 2019 NFL Draft to make their first selection, but they may have drafted a first-round talent with that pick.
The Browns traded up to the 46th overall selection and picked LSU cornerback Greedy Williams, who some draft analysts believed was the best cornerback available in the draft class.
During Thursday’s press conference, Browns general manager John Dorsey preached patience when discussing trading up in the draft. His patience paid off because the Williams selection was great value for the Browns.
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But not only was the selection great value for the Browns, it also helped create potentially one of the most dynamic cornerback duos in the NFL. Williams will likely line up as the No. 2 cornerback from day one, starting across from Denzel Ward, who showed the potential of being a shutdown cornerback last season.
Both Williams and Ward have incredible ball skills that allow them to create turnovers when the ball is thrown their way. They are both disruptive cornerbacks who make it difficult for quarterbacks to find a spot to throw to the receiver they are covering.
Although there are concerns about the tackling ability of Williams, he is one of the best cover corners in the entire draft. In 24 games with LSU, Williams had eight interceptions and 19 passes defensed. With his length, Williams is able to make plays on throws a lot of cornerbacks would struggle with.
Pairing him with Ward, who excelled at creating turnovers in 2018 and intercepted three passes as a rookie, could make life for opposing quarterbacks miserable. Both have excellent athleticism that allows them to blanket receivers and force quarterbacks into making mistakes.
One of the issues with the Browns pass defense last season was quarterbacks targeting cornerbacks opposite of Ward. Despite Ward practically shutting down one side of the field, quarterbacks were still able to find their second option. But with Williams on the other side of Ward, quarterbacks are going to be forced to throw into tight windows on both sides of the field.
If Williams’ coverage abilities translate to the NFL, it should also help the Browns in the middle of the field. Cleveland may be able to not have much safety help over top of Ward and Williams, allowing the safeties to sit in the middle of the field and help the linebackers cover tight ends and running backs.
The addition of Williams also allows Terrance Mitchell and T.J. Carrie to play in the slot more in 2019, a role they should be more comfortable in. If the Browns were looking to find a player to improve their passing defense in 2019, the Williams addition may do just that.
Cleveland may have had to wait until the second night of the draft to make their first selection, but they may have drafted a player who should have been a first-round selection. With the coverage skills of Williams, the Browns will potentially have two shutdown cornerbacks for the long-term future.