Photo of Shawn Williams
Drafted By: Bengals
  • Round 3
  • Pick 22
  • Overall 84

Combine Results

74.8 ?
  • 4.46 SEC
    Top Performer
  • 25 REPS
    Top Performer
  • 36.0 INCH
    Top Performer
  • 120.0 INCH
    Top Performer
  • 7.01 SEC
    Top Performer
  • 4.25 SEC
    Top Performer
Blue Star  =  Combine Top Performer

Draft Analysis:

"He can play special teams and can play on the backend at free safety." -- Mike Mayock

  • 6'0" Height
  • 30 3/4" Arm Length
  • 213LBS. Weight
  • 8 3/8" Hands


Georgia coaches give out a “True Grit” award after spring practice for an offensive and defensive player who stands out for his toughness and pure determination on the field. Despite the large number of NFL-caliber players on the Bulldogs’ defense, Williams has picked up the award each of the past two years. That attitude and voraciousness has shown itself on Saturdays, as opposing receivers and running backs will tell you as they get iced down after the game.

The former Georgia high school all-state pick put his hard-hitting style to work primarily on special teams during his first two seasons in Athens. Williams was named one of the team’s top newcomers after his true freshman year, finishing strong by making three of his season total of five tackles against Texas A&M in the Bulldogs’ Independence Bowl win. In 2010, he was one of the team’s Most Improved Players on special teams but also started three contests (34 tackles on the year). When a spot in the starting lineup opened up his junior year, all he did was lead the team in tackles (72, five for loss), intercept four passes (including one in the Capital One Bowl loss to Michigan State), and break up six others. As a senior, Williams made headlines for calling out his defensive teammates as "too soft." That description certainly doesn't fit Williams, who racked up 98 tackles (5.5 for loss), with four passes defended.



Physical in-the-box safety with an overall muscular build that translates well to the next level. Attacks gaps as a blitzer, has the speed to get into the backfield in a hurry to disrupt plays. Strong tackler, can throw down smaller running backs or larger tight ends with authority. Not relegated to the box, often in single or two-deep alignments and capable of moving well in short areas. Reads quarterbacks well in zone and closes to hit receivers as they are catching the ball. Intimidating in the middle, puts his shoulder into the chest of receivers to separate the ball.


Will go for the big shoulder hit or a cut block at times instead of wrapping. Gets locked up in the run game when failing to out-quick linemen or rip off more aggressive receivers. Lacks the ball skills and hands to come down with many interceptions. Doesn't have the lateral agility to consistently stay with tight ends or slot receivers.

NFL Comparison

Sean Jones

Bottom Line

Williams joined Bacarri Rambo as part of duo of NFL-caliber safeties lining up for the Bulldogs in 2012. He combines a thick build, fiery attitude, and very good athleticism to be an intimidator over the middle and in the run game. He intercepted four passes as a junior, but did not record a single interception as a senior. How much range he has in addition to questions about how he can handle slot receivers and tight ends will likely see him slide some on draft day. Still, Williams could potentially see himself as a future starting strong safety.
Grade Title Draft (Round) Description
96-100 Future Hall of Famer Top Pick A once-in-a-generation type prospect who could change how his position is played
85-95 Immediate Starter 1st An impact player with the ability/intangibles to become a Pro Bowl player. Expect to start immediately except in a unique situation (i.e. behind a veteran starter).
70-84 Eventual Starter 2nd-3rd A quality player who will contribute to the team early on and is expected to develop into a starter. A reliable player who brings value to the position.
50-69 Draftable Player 4th-7th A prospect with the ability to make team as a backup/role player. Needs to be a special teams contributor at applicable positions. Players in the high range of this category might have long-term potential.
20-49 Free Agent UDFA A player with solid measurables, intangibles, college achievements, or a developing skill that warrants an opportunity in an NFL camp. In the right situation, he could earn a place on a 53-man roster, but most likely will be a practice squad player or a camp body.