The Syracuse Orange have had difficulty finding success on the field and in the NFL Draft but perhaps 2021 is changing that narrative. After the selections of Andre Cisco and Ifeatu Melifonwu, we thought Trill Williams would became the third Syracuse defensive back selected but that did not happen. Williams didn’t wait for long after the draft to find an opportunity as he was quickly signed by the New Orleans Saints.
The Yonkers, N.Y. native had had 24 tackles, 1 TFL, five defended passes and a touchdown in 2020. Pro Football Focus graded him as the fifth-best defender on this defense — with a grade of 74.9 — and he was also the second-best player in coverage, with a 78.7 mark.
For his career Trill played in 28 games over three years — but only started 15 of those. Trill had a total of 93 tackles, 3.5 TFLs, three forced fumbles, 10 passes defended, and four picks. Even when he wasn’t starting, he stood out as a dynamic playmaker on both defense and special teams, and it was easy to spot him on the field.
Again, he’s a playmaker — and one that can play in a variety of positions around the secondary (in various schemes) while delivering big hits and showcasing a nose for the football. The fact that he scored touchdowns three different ways at Syracuse should put him on scouts’ radars. And the speed/size combo is ideal for an NFL safety. A knack for creating turnovers is not necessarily teachable the same way more fundamental skills are.
This may sound familiar when talking about Syracuse defenders, but he’s not the best tackler with PFF giving him a 55.1 grade in that department last season. Over-pursuit can be a problem and leaves him out of position. And he’s one to provide a decent cushion then attempt to deliver the big hit (vs. better coverage that prevents the completion to begin with).
How did we do with our TNIAAM Draft Prediction?:
Since it’s not the deepest safety draft, there’s a chance Trill either goes earlier than many think or later depending on team needs and who else is still available. The Eagles, Titans, Saints, Raiders and Patriots are on the short list of squads that could be looking to add a safety somewhere between the middle of the fourth round and the end of the sixth. His (bonus) special teams abilities and impressive athleticism should help him stand out among selections in that range.
Well we didn’t have the projection but we did have New Orleans among the teams with a need at safety. Good luck to Trill as he starts his pro career with the Saints as we imagine that with his name he’ll be a popular player in another Dome next year.