No Syracuse fan should be surprised by Trill Williams’ declaration for the 2021 NFL Draft. Over the past three seasons, most of the draft hype surrounded All-American safety Andre Cisco while Williams served as a lockdown corner and safety in the shadows.
That doesn’t mean Williams didn’t make any noise. The Yonkers, NY native logged 4 interceptions on the Hill and returned three for touchdowns. However, the most impressive part of Williams’ game was the lack of targets. He often eliminated the top receiver, which will always turn NFL heads.
With a 40-yard dash time of 4.34, something he showed off this year, and a 40 inch vertical leap, Williams should be a mid-round selection. The former four-star recruit has very good size at 6’2”, nearly 198 pounds. His versatility as a corner, nickel and safety should only help him impress scouts.
Then there is the issue of precedent. Cisco and Williams project to be the first SU defensive backs drafted since Shamarko Thomas in the 2013 4th round. So Syracuse is not the first place scouts will look for secondary help. Williams will need a good combine to prove his worth at the next level.
It is important to remember that Williams is foregoing his final year of eligibility, something Syracuse fans saw receiver Trishton Jackson do last year only to go undrafted. But it is unlikely that Williams would have accelerated up draft boards with another year, especially if the Orange struggle again in 2021.
So if Cisco is not taken on the first day, expect him to be off the board early on day two. Williams will have to do some waiting, but the market for versatile secondary help is always hot. Anywhere between rounds four and six are realistic expectations, assuming he shows out in the combine.