The Bears closed the 2023 NFL Draft by picking their third cornerback of the weekend, Kendall Williamson of Stanford. Chicago also selected Tyrique Stevenson (Miami) in the third round, and Terell Smith (Minnesota) in the fifth. Like his peers, Williams on is a physical specimen with speed to burn.
Williamson finalizes Chicago’s defensive backs room, though the Bears will seek competition in undrafted free agency. He’ll most likely be moved to free safety. Williamson had 34 tackles at Stanford with one interception.
Here’s Williamson’s pre-draft scouting report from Pro Football Network.
- Williamson is a tough, run-defending safety who is best playing downhill. He’s also Instinctive, stays with coverage assignments, and hits hard. Further, Williamson goes after opponents, wraps up tackling, and brings opponents down in the open field. He gives effort and also sells out to make plays.
- Does not display an explosive burst to the ball and shows average closing speed despite his impressive 40 time. He can also be late getting to the spot in coverage.
- Williamson possesses the numbers desired at the safety position, yet on film, he’s very straight-line-ish and one-dimensional. He possesses an upside but needs proper coaching and must start making plays in coverage.
- NFL Comp: Robert Alford
Here’s ESPN’s analysis:
- Williamson is a four-year starter with good size, length, and top-end speed. He’s an active run defender but an inconsistent tackler who needs to do a better job of wrapping up at times.
- Williamson has the ideal size and length for a safety (6-foot, 203 pounds) and is the third DB the Bears selected this draft. The Bears lack experience behind Brisker and Jackson in the secondary, where Williamson will try to prove he’s deserving of a roster spot as a backup or practice squad safety.
Williamson is a hard-hitting safety whose value will come heavily in run support and special teams.
— Jacob Infante (@jacobinfante24) April 29, 2023