Over the years, the New York Giants have found their fair share of quality late-round draft picks, extracting value from rounds that often times produce very little production. Ranging from Ahmad Bradshaw to Victor Cruz, an undrafted free agent, most teams are comprised of late-round selections, and it’s just a matter of finding that diamond in the rough that can change the course of a team forever.
During the 2019 NFL draft, the Giants used all four of their seventh-round picks, electing to stick around instead of trading up and pairing them together. In 2020, the philosophy changed a bit, as they didn’t have a single seventh-round pick but had a few mid-rounders that could end up paying dividends.
One player who the Giants landed was Oklahoma State corner Rodarius Williams, a 25-year-old defensive back who was selected 201st overall.
Some might look at Rodarius and see his age, which is lofty for a player coming out of college. However, he has the integral experience and the physicality to match up against NFL players immediately.
“His maturity is a huge asset,” Jim Knowles, the DC at Oklahoma State, told Giants.com. “He’s a little bit older than a normal rookie. It’s definitely a plus because he has been through a lot in his life. He’s overcome a lot personally, and I have seen his growth. I knew he had the talent from the beginning, but I have seen his growth as a mature young man who understands life and what it takes to succeed and the work that needs to go in. That lightbulb went on, so you’re getting a guy who is ready-made and prepared to handle being a professional.”
Empire Sports Media spoke to Rodarius, as he was not only motivated to take his talents to the next level, but was committed to climbing the roster ladder in hopes of seeing playing time at some point.
How can the New York Giants activate Williams immediately?
There is a fair chance that William starts his career as a gunner on the punt team, given his superior athleticism and straightaway speed. As the older brother to Greedy Williams, the Cleveland Browns second-round pick in 2019, it is clear he comes from a football family. His durability and intensity are what make him a quality player, and with the physicality to play man coverage and catch-up to speedy receivers downfield, he fits the new Giants’ scheme quite well.
Despite the Giants having a crowd of defensive backs room, you can never have too many quality players at one position, as general manager Dave Gettleman would say. Since Williams is on a four-year rookie deal, it will be exciting to see how he progresses through the system and if he can earn playing time in the future. At the very least, he can make an impact on special teams immediately in 2021.