METAIRIE, La. -- A few quick thoughts on the second of two third-round picks for the New Orleans Saints:
The pick: P.J. Williams, cornerback, Florida State
My take: On the field, this seems like a great value pick. Williams (6-foot, 194 pounds) is a physical corner who was the defensive MVP of the BCS national championship game after the 2013 season. He could come in right away and compete for a nickel corner job for the Saints, who badly needed to improve that position this offseason. Williams will compete for that role with guys such as newly signed veteran Kyle Wilson, last year's second-round draft pick, Stanley Jean-Baptiste, and fellow backups Terrence Frederick, Brian Dixon and Delvin Breaux. Williams' draft stock was likely hurt by some off-the-field incidents.
Character concerns? Williams was arrested for DUI last month, though charges were later dropped. And he reportedly left the scene after causing an early-morning car accident last year before returning to the scene about 20 minutes later, according to a New York Times report. The Saints have made character and maturity top priorities this offseason, so they must have felt confident in their interviews with Williams and those around him. The Saints spent time with Williams when they brought their full front office and coaching staff to the Seminoles' pro day.
Getting physical: The Saints are intent on getting more physical in pass coverage -- in part to combat the growing bodies in the NFC South. The division added stud rookie big men Mike Evans in Tampa Bay and Kelvin Benjamin in Carolina last year, and the Panthers just drafted Devin Funchess. The Saints already added one of the NFL's best press corners, free agent Brandon Browner, this offseason. That could also be a strength of Williams. His speed isn’t elite (he ran the 40-yard dash in 4.57 seconds at the combine and 4.48 seconds at his pro day), but analysts like ESPN's Todd McShay credit Williams for his "outstanding" instincts and sure tackling ability. McShay said Williams' best fit is in press-man or zone coverages.