The Aaron Williams Pick

Aaron Williams was the 34th pick in the 2011 NFL draft.  The Bills had a whole day to re-watch tape of Williams and make their decision on picking him so you know that they liked him as a player.  

There are other things about the Williams pick though that make me very excited about him as a player - he's a great blend of need and talent at corner.  He was projected to go late first round so by all accounts those projections were right and the Bills not only got great value, but also a potentially great player

Heading into the draft the Bills had McKelvin, McGee and Reggie Corner as our corner backs.  Florence was going to test the Free Agent market so the Bills couldn't even field a dime defense at that point.  Clearly CB was a major need - there was no guarantee that Florence would resign with the Bills.  Whether you think that the Bills drafted for need or not with this pick you cannot deny the lack of players at the position. 

I think there were 3 reasons why the Bills took Williams in no particular order:

  1. He's a good player - he's physical and smart.  He jams effective and he's effective in stopping the run - i'll get to why the former is so important - especially in our division.
  2. To help stop the run - he'll stick his nose in there and stuff RBs - he's got good instincts and using his size as an advantage.  You'll see a noticeable difference in our run defense just because of his presence - he's very effective in that department. 
  3. Tom Brady -  to me -this is why he was drafted: 

    You can argue one way or the other that you have to beat the Pats and/or the Jets to win the AFCE - obviously you have to beat both of them but Brady is clearly, but a significant margin, the best QB in our division.  So IMO, the Pats are the team to beat.

    Tom Brady uses the short passing game more than any any other throw by a considerable margin. In 2010 66.85% of Brady's passes were throws of less than 10 yards with 359 attempts out of 537 total passing attempts - courtesy of Pro Football Focus. The next closest QB on that list is Drew Brees at 62.81% - that's a huge gap between the 2.  Think about it - almost 70% of Brady's passes are less than 10 yards - enter Aaron Williams.

    Williams is excellent at jamming receivers and defending the short area of a defense - whether it's in the passing game or the running game.  That's his niche - he's an excellent short area player.  So while he's effective in the run game he's also got the ability to disrupt the short area passing game - clearly something the Pats run constantly.  

    When reading the PFF article and going over the elite QBs you see that Brady, Brees and Manning all have over 60% of their passes going 10 yards or less.  Stands good a reason as any to have an excellent, or maybe the best, short area CB in the draft on your team does it not?  While people tend to focus in on Williams ability to stuff the run I think his ability to disrupt and impact the short passing game was just a much of a factor into his selection than anything.

From a philosophy point of view you have a CB in Williams that disrupts and hopefully dominants his side of the field in the short passing game making QBs a) hold the ball longer and b) throw further down the field.  This should help our pass rush have more time to get to the QB and it should allow players like Byrd create more turnovers because of said pressure and more opportunities when the ball is in the air. 
The Aaron Williams pick was a great blend of stopping the run game and helping make our pass defense better than it was last year - overall - a very smart draft pick for the Bills.

Just another great fan opinion shared on the pages of

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