Garrett Williams, a Syracuse football alum, shined yesterday in his NFL debut. The Cardinals cornerback tallied an interception, along with two solo tackles, in a 20-10 loss to the Seahawks.
Arizona selected Williams with the 72nd pick in the third round of last year’s NFL Draft. At the time, he was rehabbing from a torn ACL that he suffered from in his last year on SU.
Williams did not play a single snap in the preseason and was also inactive for the first six weeks of the season. Before week 7, he was finally healthy enough to play. To the Cardinals’ credit, the team trusted Williams to jump right into the action immediately after he was available.
With the rest of the league getting a head start, the former Orange player was taken aback by the pace of play.
“I wouldn’t say it’s the learning curve but just the speed of the game. It’s a lot different than practice,” Williams said.
At Syracuse, Williams was a three-time All-ACC selection that led the conference in pass breakups twice. Despite the increased speed of the game in the pros, he clearly adjusted quickly and kept up the high-level play.
Williams will have the chance to back up the breakout performance as well. He’s listed as a second string cornerback on the Cardinals’ depth chart, but he could move up. Williams is the only CB on Arizona’s roster that has forced a turnover this season.
Still, Garrett Williams doesn’t have to wait long for his next big challenge. Up next for the Cardinals is a clash with the Ravens next Sunday. Baltimore scored 38 points in a win over Detroit today. The Ravens, led by quarterback Lamar Jackson, also have a team passer rating of over 100, a top-three rating in the league.