Former Wisconsin CB, Caesar Williams, is into flashy clothes. If he ever got Jalen Ramsey money, I can only imagine the kind of wild custom outfits he would wear to the stadium just to look good (at least in his own mind) for the TV cameras as he got out of his expensive sports car or SUV. The legacy of Deion Sanders has influenced an entire generation of young defensive backs.
Is Williams all style over substance or is he an underrated player who is going to claim a roster spot and develop into a starting outside CB for the Rams?
Pro Day: 6' 1/8'' tall, 190 pounds, 31 5/8'' arms, 9 3/4'' hands, 75 1/2'' wingspan
4.67 sec (40 time), 1.55 sec (10 yard split), 2.72 sec (20 yard split), 32.5'' vert, 9'8'' broad, 4.26 sec (shuttle), 7.00 sec (3 cone)
Has longer arms, bigger wingspan, bigger hands, runs faster with better jumping numbers than Derion Kendrick.
3 star recruit from powerful HS team in Grand Prairie, Texas. Was teammates with Jeff Okudah, who was a 5 star recruit and the 3rd overall pick in 2020 by the Lions out of Ohio State. He and Okudah were good friends in middle school and high school. Mom was a track and field athlete in college. In HS he also did long jump and high jump on track team. Grew up in poor area of Dallas.
As a young child, Williams had a rare condition called Kawasaki disease, which caused enlarged heart and internal organs. At about the age of 5 he was hospitalized and nearly died his first night in the hospital. The long term effects of the disease aren't well known, so he has regular checkups on his heart. He also has had issues with severe asthma and allergies, resulting in a number of hospital visits for asthma attacks.
Had surgery his freshman year in college for a core injury. Left leg injury in 2018 as redshirt sophomore. Briefly came out of a game last season with some type of arm injury, but quickly returned to game.
Redshirted in 2016. In 2019 had 12 PDs, an INT and a FF. In 12 games in 2021 had 28 tackles, 3 INTs and 9 PDs. Career totals of 5 INTs, 27 PDs and one FF. Degree in life sciences communication.
Per PFF, had the highest pass coverage grade (84.8) of any CB in the draft on targets at least 10 yards downfield. Andrew Booth from Clemson was 4th in that category with an 80.3 grade.
Last season, Wisconsin ranked 1st in total defense in the country, nearly 30 yards better than Georgia. They were 4th in both passing defense and passing efficiency defense.
Was not ranked by Chad Reuter among the top 39 best available UDFA cornerbacks. Ranked 513th overall by Drafttek, higher than Damarion Williams, who was a 4th round pick.
Profile from Bucky's 5th quarter (SB Nation site for Wisconsin Badgers): Prototypical size, can play zone, off man and trail technique. Below average speed, stiff hips, not a physical tackler, below average play strength. An outside CB in a zone scheme. An XFL or USFL prospect.
Good length with long arms. Can contest upstairs against taller WRs and TEs and defend high passes. Size to be an outside CB.
Can diagnose plays in front of him and react, closing down screens and passes to the flat.
Has instincts to contest and break up catches and to find the ball. Had a high number of PDs in college.
Stays with the WR through double moves, disciplined in his body positioning to match, doesn't lunge or gamble.
Can disrupt the route with catch technique. Pulls his hands back and maintains balance if he decides he can't jam the WR coming off the line.
In phase with WR on vertical routes. Crowds the route, making it tough for the QB to fit in passes.
Willingly takes on WR blocks.
Overly confident in himself, inflated ego. Acts like he's a 1st round draft pick with an air of entitlement, when he's an UDFA. Not diplomatic in interviews, will throw shade at players on other teams, thinks that he is better than them. Says that he plays football for "respect", sees himself as a franchise player in the NFL, wants to be famous and have other people wear his jersey. Immature and self centered attitude. It is important for an NFL CB to be confident, but there can be a fine line between being confident and being delusional and cocky. Trash talks opponents on the field. Got penalty after INT for taking helmet off on field and taunting other team.
Better about 15 yards downfield, not so good closer to the LOS. Regularly beaten on comeback routes. Multiple times gave up too much cushion against speed outs. Not able to break on slants in time to prevent catches. Beaten on dig route. Weak one hand jam, beaten on slant route. WRs can drive him off by threatening going deep, then create separation by snapping off the route and he isn't able to react quickly enough to challenge the passing lane. Got picked off by the slot WR, so his outside WR on a slant route was wide open. Too much cushion against slant on a 3rd down play.
Odd technique in press, he doesn't stay on the balls of his feet, he throws his body weight backwards in his transition as he tries to mirror, sometimes with both of his hands going behind him. Got turned around on release a couple times, because instead of using a pedal to stay square and facing the WR a split second longer, he has a habit of leaning back, then turn his hips to run with the WR, so once he turns around he can't mirror them if they immediately cut back in the other direction. His footwork nearly got exploited for huge gain against RB wheel route, because with his hip stiffness, once he turned inside to try to run with the WR, he struggled to flip himself back towards the sideline to switch over onto the RB and carry that route deep.
Thin build. Lacks size and play strength to set the edge and get off of blocks. Poor tackle strength with inconsistent tackling form.
Lacks speed to pursue in support. Beaten by double move and didn't have makeup speed.
Grabs the WR when the ball is in the air. Committed an unnecessary pass interference penalty on pass that wasn't going to be caught.
Inconsistent awareness. Didn't stay with WR when the QB extended play outside pocket. Was fooled by a fake wheel route, hesitated and got burned deep when he didn't carry the slant and go route vertically.
The level of pass rush pressure from Wisconsin's blitz scheme made pass coverage easier for the DBs.
Traits don't project him to be a good special teams player due to lack of long speed, below average strength and lack of commitment.
Unique medical issues and injury history could create uncertainty with long term durability. I wonder if his team medical evaluation by the Rams is multiple volumes.
Caesar Williams is an interesting player, because he has a pretty good feel for how to play the CB position and I like his length for matching up with NFL level athletes, but I don't like his lack of speed, his footwork at the line and his intangibles.
There is some potential for him to become a good NFL CB, but he's one of those all or nothing players. Since he looks like he'd be a poor special teams player, he either has to be good enough to earn time in the CB rotation or he'll probably get waived.
In terms of sheer talent, I think Caesar Williams has just as much of a chance at making it as Derion Kendrick, but the odds are also good that neither CB will ever become reliable starters for the Rams.