Buffalo Bills' Aaron Williams moving from cornerback to safety

Timothy T. Ludwig-US PRESSWIRE

The third-year defensive back has a chance to revive his career at a new position.

It's strange that the most interesting bit of news coming from the Buffalo Bills pre-draft luncheon doesn't have anything to do with the 2013 NFL Draft, but here it is anyway: Aaron Williams will be moving to safety under head coach Doug Marrone and defensive coordinator Mike Pettine, according to GM Buddy Nix.

Back in the lead-in to the 2011 NFL Draft, many touted Williams as the best safety prospect in a class that was short on top-notch talent. The 6'0", 204-pound Williams played cornerback throughout his three years at Texas, but did play safety in high school, so he has experience playing the position at the very least.

In his first two seasons with the Bills, Williams struggled mightily at cornerback - particularly in 2012, when he was routinely abused by opposing receivers virtually any time he was in the lineup. His struggles were so severe, in fact, that the Bills saw fit to bring back another cornerback that's had his fair share of struggles, Leodis McKelvin, in a starting capacity this off-season.

Williams, who will turn 23 a week from today, still has the benefit of youth on his side, and he'll now be playing a position at which his weaknesses - chiefly his struggle to flip his hips, transition and run upfield smoothly - will be minimized. He's still an excellent athlete with good size and run-defending skills - ESPN's Mel Kiper called him the toughest run-support corner he'd graded in five years for a reason - and his experience playing on the edge could make him an asset as a matchup safety against tight ends in certain situations, though that will likely be played by ear to start.

With a clean slate from a scheme standpoint for the vast majority of Buffalo's defensive personnel, it's fair to pit Williams against his 2011 draft classmate, Da'Norris Searcy, in a potential training camp battle for the starting safety job next to Jairus Byrd that was opened up when George Wilson was released in February. That's where we have him on our updated depth chart for the moment.

Meanwhile, at cornerback, the news is obviously good for McKelvin. It's also good for a pair of depth corners that can play on the edge that the team is high on: 2012 fourth-round pick Ron Brooks and, perhaps especially, 2010 fifth-round pick (and 2012 Bills practice squad signing) Crezdon Butler.

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