There’s no doubt the physical skills and football smarts of Aaron Williams will serve him well as he transitions from college to the NFL as the Bills’ second-round pick. With a healthy amount of playing experience at one of the bigger programs in college football the jump for Williams is not seen as a big one. If however, he needs some NFL assistance the cornerback has a ton of proven professionals to turn to.
The University of Texas has churned out defensive backs by the truck load over the past decade hence the nickname ‘DBU.’ Since 1991 six defensive backs from Texas have been selected in the first round of the NFL draft. Though there were no first round selections this spring, Williams along with fellow defensive backs Curtis Brown and Chykie Brown were three of the four Longhorns taken in the 2011 draft.
As Williams prepares for the start of his NFL career he along with the rest of the 2011 draft class will have less time with their new coaches leading up to their first NFL regular season. Fortunately for Buffalo’s second-round pick, he has a host of Texas alums to call on.
Tennessee Pro Bowl safety Michael Griffin and Oakland Raiders safety Michael Huff are two of Williams’ closest confidants. Former Giants first-round pick Aaron Ross also keeps in touch with Williams by phone.
“We’re a big family and look out for each other,” said Williams.
Huff was with Williams on draft day, a former teammate that Williams sees as a big brother. The two talk almost daily and though safety is Huff’s natural position there is a lot that he can share with Williams about what to expect and prepare for leading up to his first NFL training camp.
“Now it’s time to go to work and put in the time,” Williams said. “Do your best and prove it to Buffalo why you should’ve been picked.”
Should the league’s current labor situation remain unchanged come this summer, Williams will have another positive NFL influence helping him. His uncle Ken Taylor was a safety for the Chicago Bears 1985 Super Bowl team during their famed 46-Defense days.
“Having the opportunity I have with my Uncle playing is a blessing,” said Williams. “He comes down every summer to train and watch me.”
And Williams has watched his uncle on tape… a lot.
“I definitely have watched,” he said. “There’s no way I cannot watch tape. Every time he comes down to my house he always has a tape with him telling me this is how you really need to play defense.”
Williams to his credit is known as a physical corner particularly in run support.
“He’s a good tackler, tough guy, smart,” said Bills GM Buddy Nix. “He’s six feet and a quarter and 205 pounds and he vertical jumped 38 inches. He’s very explosive and strong.”
“I definitely take pride (in being physical) because I just don’t want to be a corner out there just trying to cover,” Williams said. “I want to be an all overall great player, not just a player good at one aspect of the game. I want to be an overall player.”
With the collection of experienced NFL players in his address book, Williams stands a very good chance of becoming the all-around talent he desires to be.