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Patriots NFL Draft Prospect: FS Deunta Williams, North Carolina

Name: FS Deunta Williams

School: North Carolina

Size: 6'2, 205 lbs

Expected Round: 3rd-5th

40 Time: N/A

Career Stats: Click Here.

Player Previews: CBS; Walter Football; NFL Combine [If you would like your website included, please e-mail me!]

Strengths: Ballhawk at Free Safety, Williams is able to get his hands on the football. He makes plays wherever he is on the field. He's strong in run support, although he needs to get stronger if he wants to square up with blocking tight ends, and he needs to work on shedding blockers. Smart player who can read the quarterback and recognize routes. Takes great angles to make tackles. Extremely experienced.

Weaknesses: Can be beaten by the pump fake. Suspended for four games in 2010 for receiving extra benefits from agents. Broke his leg in the final game of 2010. Needs to get stronger to be a consistent help in the run defense. Must get faster in order to be a better coverage safety. Doesn't lay the wood when tackling in the open field.

Why and Why Not the Patriots after the jump, and my final verdict!

Why the Patriots?: Williams is a late round pick who started the season, prior to his suspension, as a first round prospect. His playmaking numbers decreased because he was asked to star in a defense where its primary two pass rushers (Robert Quinn, Marvin Austin) were suspended for the entire season. As a result, Williams stepped up in the box to help the run, which hurt his coverage numbers. If he were asked to go back into coverage, I feel like his numbers would increase again. He's a natural free safety and would thrive in the Patriots defense. He recognizes routes due to his great experience and will make plays. He is also great value as a mid-late round pick.

Why Not the Patriots?: Poor life decisions by Williams. Will it be a problem? Also, was his drop in production truly a result of him changing positions, or did he just lose a step? Will he be consistently injured like Bob Sanders? There are a lot of questions surrounding Williams as a player, which could keep the Patriots away from him. The Patriots tend to drop the ball on risky prospects and Williams is pretty risky.

Verdict: I think Williams would be a viable safety option in the 5th round, or later. I prefer Jaiquawn Jarrett, but if Jarrett isn't an option, I wouldn't be upset with a late round flier on Williams.