The Baltimore Ravens secondary was already the strength of their defense heading into the offseason. After losing their top two pass rushers in free agency with the departure of Matthew Judon to the Patriots and Yannick Ngakoue to the Raiders, the defensive backs will be leaned on even more going forward baring a significant move to greatly improve the pass rush.
That being said, they need more depth at safety behind starters Chuck Clark and DeShon Elliott, slot corner behind the often-injured Tavon Young, and can never have enough corners that can play inside and out. One prospect that can do all of the above is Atrilleon ‘Trill’ Williams of Syracuse.
The former member of the Orange Men is a versatile defensive back who played all three spots during his three years in college and has the traits and skills to do the same at the next level.
The Ravens covet players with diverse skill sets on both sides of the ball but especially on defense where Defensive Coordinator Don Wink Martindale likes to disguise coverages and pressures with a plethora of personnel packages.
At 6-foot and 208 pounds with over 31-inch arms, Williams has the length and athleticism to play corner and the range and physicality to play safety. He’s an aggressive defender with an explosive playing style and has a penchant for making splash plays and physical tackles.
Trill Williams takes the victory in OT on Senior Day pic.twitter.com/sW75MVcilJ— Syracuse Football (@CuseFootball) November 30, 2019
Williams had three return touchdowns—two on defense and one on special teams—and forced seven turnovers in 27 career games. He also recorded 92 total career tackles including 3.5 for loss and defended five passes.
He appeared in five games in 2020 before opting out the rest of the season to focus on preparing for the draft instead of playing through an ankle injury that he had surgically repaired in November.
His instincts and anticipatory skills need some work but he is capable of thriving in either zone or man coverage. Some believe that he’d be best suited as a perimeter corner but I think he could also excel as a box safety in dime packages that plays downhill and provides sneaky underneath coverage.
He showcased his underneath coverage skills on the play below from his sophomore season where he picked off Trevor Lawrence, the presumptive No. 1 overall pick in this year’s draft, and would’ve had his fourth career return touchdown had it not been tackled just shy of the goal line by Travis Etienne.
Watching Syracuse film, and Cornerback Trill Williams (@TrillWilliams6) has looked very impressive. Physical corner who gave receivers fits in the slot. Wouldn’t be shocked to see Trill as one of the top CB’s in the 2021 draft. #NFLDraft #DraftTwitter pic.twitter.com/9WRCURn4bW— Jack Borowsky (@Jack_Borowsky) July 3, 2020
Williams is also an effective and dangerous blitzer off the edge from either the slot or from his safety spot. He can apply pressure to the quarterback and chase ball carriers down with tremendous backside pursuit.
Trill Williams is one of college football’s most versatile DBs.— ACC Content (@ACContent__) June 7, 2020
Watch his speed off the edge to stuff the QB draw. Blocking back unable to fight him off. pic.twitter.com/yDb30CuU9w
Even if he doesn’t see the field on defense right away, Williams has the skills to be a force on special teams kick coverage units and possibly even in the return game where he has limited experience but possesses the long speed to break one if he finds a lane.
He’s projected to be a day two selection and would be a solid pick for the Ravens in the late third round or early in the fourth if he falls to day three. Williams could possibly even come off the board as early as the late second because of his positional versatility to play several spots in the backend.