The NY Jets will likely be in the market for a cornerback in the 2021 NFL Draft. With that in mind, one intriguing prospect who could be available on Day 3 of the draft is Oklahoma State’s Rodarius Williams.
A four-year starter at Oklahoma State, Williams is one of the most experienced players in this class having started 48 career games in college. He earned second-team All-Big 12 honors after a standout senior season in which he led his team in pass deflections.
Williams is actually the older brother of former LSU star and Cleveland Browns’ 2019 second-round pick, Greedy Williams.
Primarily seen as a Day 3 prospect, the Jets could look to add Williams even if they address the cornerback position early as well. His experience, toughness, and good blend of size/speed give him the upside to develop into a quality NFL player.
I recently had the opportunity to chat with Williams about his football journey to this point, the NFL Draft process, if he sees himself as a fit with the Jets, and if the Jets have shown any interest.
Below is a transcription of our interview.
Interview with NY Jets draft prospect Rodarius Williams
Justin Fried: “I want to start by talking about your brother, Greedy Williams. Now I’m not going to ask you the same question you probably always hear about what it’s like having your younger brother in the NFL or whatever. That’s not an interesting question, and I’m sure you’re tired of hearing it. But I do want to ask about nicknames. So, of course, your brother’s real name is Andraez, but he goes by Greedy. Your name is Rodarius, but you have the nickname ‘Lee Lee.’ Where does that come from? What’s the origin behind that name?”
Rodarius Williams: “My middle name is Lee and my aunt just doubled it up as a kid. It’s nothing special, but it just stuck with me.”
JF: “You went to Calvary Baptist, which is a private school in Shreveport, Louisiana. At Calvary Baptist, you played alongside future Power 5 players like Chanse Sylvie who went to Oklahoma, Shun Brown who played at Arizona, future Michigan QB Shea Patterson, and then your brother Greedy. What was it like playing with so many talented players? I’d imagine you guys had quite a bit of success.”
RW: “It was fun. Working out with guys like that, it’s amazing to be in that atmosphere. Being around guys who are as hard-working as that, it was amazing. We won some championships too.”
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JF: “You redshirt your first year at Oklahoma State and then go on to start 48 consecutive games at Stillwater. You’re one of the most experienced cornerbacks in this class. Do you think that experience is something that could help you thrive early in your NFL career?”
RW: “Most definitely. I feel like it’s definitely going to play a role in me getting my start in the NFL. Everything’s going to work out real well.”
JF: “Let’s hope so! 2020 was a bit of a breakout year for you. You earned second-team All-Big 12 honors for the first time in your career, you led your team in pass deflections. What did you learn over the course of your first four years at Oklahoma State that you were able to put together in your senior season? Essentially, what is the most improved part of your game?”
RW: “Definitely my press-man. That’s something I really worked on throughout the offseason. That was part of the reason behind my decision to come back to college for my senior year. A lot of NFL scouts were telling me I was slow and that I wasn’t good at press-man. So I just had that chip on my shoulder to prove to everyone that ‘Hey I really play man over here. We play man 90 percent of the game.’ I just had to keep proving everybody wrong.”
JF: “I could definitely see that chip on your shoulder on tape. That’s for sure. Do you have any NFL players that you model your game after or just like to watch on film?”
RW: “Definitely Tre’Davious White.”
JF: “Another guy with a chip on his shoulder, love it. Are there any teams that have shown a little more interest than others that you could potentially see yourself with come draft day?”
RW: “I’d definitely say, and I’m not just blowing smoke up your a– because we’re on the phone, but the Jets have hit me up a lot. The Colts, Steelers, Rams, Bears — every team has been showing a lot of interest throughout this process. I don’t think I’d be surprised by any team calling me. It’s pretty much expected. At this point, it’s just about when they’re going to call.”
JF: “Exactly, it’s not if but when you get that call. You mentioned the Jets, do you see yourself as a fit for the defense they’re trying to run under Robert Saleh, probably a zone-heavy, Cover-3-inspired defense?”
RW: “Man I started my career on zone. They didn’t start playing me in man until 2019 and 2020. Whatever the coaches need me to do, zone or man, it’s just second nature to me at this point.”
Special thanks to Rodarius for taking the time to chat with us. The Jets will certainly be looking to address the cornerback position in the 2021 NFL Draft.
They’ve evidently shown interest in Rodarius Williams. Perhaps he’s someone they target come next week.