Saints’ Marcus Williams was selected out of the University of Utah as part of that legendary 2017 draft class that included Ryan Ramczyk and Alvin Kamara.
Forget the Minneapolis Miracle, Saints’ Marcus Williams has been the most consistent, under-appreciated safety in the NFL for the bulk of his young career. Bring it on.
No, he really hasn’t improved on his tackling ability since that dreadful whiff. Last year he tied dearly departed Vonn Bell for most missed tackles on the team.
But to be fair, no football fan in their right mind would look at Marcus Williams and expect him to be Brian Dawkin’s clone. At 6-foot-1, 195-pound, Williams’ slim frame is best suited for coverage, and as the stats will point out, he’s played to that strength quite well.
For all the buzz surrounding Marshon Lattimore, you’d think Williams would be due more respect. After all, Lattimore only has eight career interceptions, whereas Williams has 10, which is more than any other Saints’ player ever through their first three seasons.
He’s also as ferocious of a coverage presence as Lattimore; midway through the 2019 season, the 23-year-old had just 73 yards allowed on 445 coverage snaps and had more pass breakups than receptions allowed.
Williams’ weakness may be what keeps him in the game for a long, healthy career.
He does not play the game with a reckless disregard for his body a ‘la Troy Polamalu, choosing instead to utilize his brandished football IQ to covertly police the backfield. Leave the bruising hits for Malcolm Jenkins: Marcus Williams patrols his defense like a thief in the night, never felt but always there.
With the mentorship of the ball-hawking veteran Malcolm Jenkins, Marcus Williams should age nicely into his role, and Loomis would be wise to invest in the sure-fire development of his overlooked talent.
With the right guidance and coaching, Williams production should continue to evolve season after season, until he fills the veteran role the same way Roman Harper once did.
WhoDatDish Writer’s Poll Ranking: 11.8
Colleagues disagree in any profession. Whether you work at Staples or Goldman Sachs, you and your coworkers will have different perspectives regarding the value of a particular asset.
I, personally, expected Williams to be higher — placing him in the top five. With the exception of Michael Thomas and Alvin Kamara, every Saint ranked in the top six in the writer’s poll is at or approaching the age of depreciating in value by the day.
Marcus Williams represents a chance for Dennis Allen and Mickey Loomis to push all their chips into the development of a young player whose values are steadily growing.
Already ranked by PFF as the best safety in the league, the sky is the limit for Williams, who has long since redeemed himself for his regrettable playoff folly.