NFL Analysis


4 min read

James Williams 2024 NFL Draft: Combine Results, Scouting Report For Tennessee Titans Safety

Oct 30, 2021; Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, USA; Miami Hurricanes safety James Williams (0) gestures after intercepting the ball as Pittsburgh Panthers wide receiver Jordan Addison (3) reacts leaving the field during the fourth quarter at Heinz Field. Miami won 38-34. Mandatory Credit: Charles LeClaire-USA TODAY Sports

The 2024 NFL Draft is getting close, making it an excellent time to highlight some of the class' best players with scouting reports. Each report will include strengths, weaknesses and background information. 

Here's our report on James Williams.

James Williams' 2024 NFL Combine RESULTS

  • Height: 6-foot-4
  • Weight: 231 pounds
  • 40-yard dash: 4.65
  • 10-yard split: 1.59
  • Vertical jump: 30"
  • Broad jump: 9'9"
  • Arm length: 33 5/8"



  • Outstanding length for a safety with the versatility to play in the box and on the back end, including the post.
  • Showed some physicality despite long, lean frame. Willing to mix it up at times and make tackles in run game.
  • Long, easy strider who played with plus range to work sideline to sideline and make plays outside the numbers.
  • Showed smooth pedal at post-safety with functional transition and change of direction to react to throws. 
  • Played top-down from back end with good recognition and some burst to make plays on throws in front of him.  
  • Plant-and-drive burst from the back end to deliver hits on receivers. Instinctive feel for reading QB and routes. 
  • Length and play speed to match man-to-man to TEs on intermediate and vertical routes. Understood leverage.


  • Not as consistently physical as you would expect. Did not always look to strike-tackle with aggression and force.
  • Straight-line, linear athlete more than a loose-hipped athlete. Can be rangy with his size and stride length. 
  • There was no suddenness or explosiveness to his movement. Much more of a measured and methodical mover. 
  • Too often dropped his head to tackle when on the move. Did not see the runner or make an attempt to wrap up. 
  • Played too tall and upright, negatively impacting transitions and change of direction as back-end safety.

Oct 30, 2021; Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, USA; Miami Hurricanes safety James Williams (0) reacts with cornerback Tyrique Stevenson (2) after intercepting the ball against the Pittsburgh Panthers during the fourth quarter at Heinz Field. Miami won 38-34. Mandatory Credit: Charles LeClaire-USA TODAY Sports


Williams brings outstanding size and length with exceptionally long arms. It will be interesting to see how teams project him to the NFL, given that he did not consistently play to his size from a physical perspective. Williams could well fit the profile of the versatile safety in a big nickel personnel package. He has the traits and experience to play on the back end, in the box (or overhang alignment) and match up man-to-man on TEs.

It is possible teams and coaches will see a defined transition to LB much in the way Devine Deablo did when he came out of Virginia Tech as a safety and is now a starting LB for the Raiders. For that to happen, Williams would have to become much more physical and strong in static confined space, taking on blockers and as a tackler. That is not an easy transition to make. Additionally, Williams sees the game as a safety based on alignment and responsibilities.

Williams’ size and stride length give him a rangy dimension to his game as a back-end safety. Some could see him transitioning to the next level in a defense that features quarters as its foundational structure where he would have both run support and coverage responsibilities. 

The more I watched Williams, the more I thought his best projection would be in big nickel packages with similarities in size and measurables to Jayron Kearse who was a seventh-round pick in the 2016 draft but found his place with the Cowboys in their big nickel beginning in 2021 (Kearse is presently a free agent). 

Williams could also be a dime LB with the ability to match up man-to-man on TEs and play in underneath zone coverage with his length and wingspan.


Williams came out of American Heritage High School in South Florida as a five-star recruit and became a starter in his freshman season of 2021. He finished his college career with 29 starts.

In 2022 and 2023, Williams played in the box and on the back end in Miami’s defense. He was deployed as a blitzer at times. There were third-down snaps in which Williams matched up man-to-man on the No. 3 to trips, and there were times it was a wide receiver. 

Overall, in 2023, Williams played an almost equal number of snaps on the back end and in the box with a significant number of snaps in the slot (alignment breakdown was very similar in 2022).