Mississippi LSU Passing Football

LSU All-American cornerback Greedy Williams (29) and his defensive mates will try to put the clamps on Alabama's high-flying offense that averages 54.1 points and 564.2 yards per game when the third-ranked Tigers host the top-ranked Crimson Tide on Saturday night.

LSU cornerback Greedy Williams has dropped from a top 5 NFL draft pick to a late first-rounder, according to ESPN draft analyst Mel Kiper Jr.

When Kiper released his first mock draft in January, he pegged Williams to be drafted No. 4 overall by the Oakland Raiders. In his latest mock draft, released Tuesday morning, Kiper said the buzz surrounding Williams questionable tackling and inconsistent coverage — despite his 4.37-second 40-yard dash at the NFL combine — dropped the ex-Tiger to No. 29 overall by the Kansas City Chiefs.

Kiper told The Advocate in a media conference call Tuesday morning that the consensus from those he's spoken to say Williams could be selected as early as No. 15 (owned by the Washington Redskins) and as late as No. 30 (owned by the Green Bay Packers). 

Kiper said he considered placing Williams again with the Raiders at No. 24 (a pick they received from the Chicago Bears), but he "didn't think he was Jon Gruden's kind of corner because of his questionable tackling ability."

And in the month leading up to the NFL draft on April 25-27, Kiper said league opinions on Williams are "not going to change."

"Opinions are already complete now," Kiper said. "And I think the tackling and the ability to be an 11th man on that defense, and not play with 10 and have a big running back coming around the corner and make a business decision on whether you tackle or you don't. Again, you've got to tackle these bigger receivers, these tight ends in space, because it's an extension of the running game. Or these short passes. You can't be missing tackles in the open field or around the line of scrimmage. Again, tackling not just running backs, but receivers and tight ends, that's going to be the issue."

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Williams answered questions about his tackling at LSU's pro day on March 22, where he said he knew he was the best cornerback in the draft.

"I'm not afraid to tackle," said Williams, who recorded 33 tackles as a redshirt sophomore in 2018. "I just never have really been in a position to make a big tackle. I'm always in man-to-man. They understood where I was coming from. ... Like I told the scout, 'Put me in a Cover 2 and let that tight end run in that zone, and I'll show you what I can do.' "

LSU coach Ed Orgeron said NFL coaches and scouts have asked him about Williams' ability to tackle, and Orgeron said Williams only played two years at LSU and has room for growth.

"I do believe he needs to improve on tackling," Orgeron said, "and I believe it'll be no problem, and I believe he'll be a great pro."

Kiper compared Williams to Los Angeles Rams cornerback Aqib Talib, a five-time Pro Bowler who was selected No. 20 overall in 2008 out of Kansas by the Tampa Bay Buccaneers.

Talib was a unanimous All-American for the Jayhawks in 2007, he was named a first-team All-Pro with the Denver Broncos in 2016, where he helped the franchise win Super Bowl 50.

"(Williams) shows he can be the Aqib Talib in coverage at times," Kiper said. "But he wasn't on a consistent basis — even in coverage. And again, that's the kind of player you would compare him to, would be Aqib Talib. But Talib will tackle, and Talib had a ton of career interceptions, and he was a more consistently dominant cover-corner."

If Williams were to indeed be selected by the Kansas City Chiefs he would join ex-Tigers safety Tyrann Mathieu, who recently signed a three-year, $42 million deal with the Chiefs.

"(Kansas City) would be thrilled to see Greedy Williams still on the board, considering they still need a cover guy," Kiper said. "The Chiefs need a cover guy, to get a guy that runs a 4.3 and has his length and showed that when he's at the top of his game, he can be a shutdown corner with great ball skills. To get him late in the first round would be a nice pick. But I think it's questionable now whether he will be a top 15 pick like I thought he would be a couple months ago."