Marcus Williams (safety)

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Marcus Williams
refer to caption
Williams in 2017
No. 43 – New Orleans Saints
Position:Free safety
Personal information
Born: (1996-09-08) September 8, 1996 (age 23)
Corona, California
Height:6 ft 1 in (1.85 m)
Weight:195 lb (88 kg)
Career information
High school:Eleanor Roosevelt
(Eastvale, California)
NFL Draft:2017 / Round: 2 / Pick: 42
Career history
Roster status:Active
Career highlights and awards
Career NFL statistics as of Week 10, 2019
Total tackles:166
Pass deflections:20
Forced fumbles:2
Fumble recoveries:1
Player stats at

Marcus Alan Williams (born September 8, 1996) is an American football safety for the New Orleans Saints of the National Football League (NFL). He played college football at Utah.

Early years[edit]

Williams attended Eleanor Roosevelt High School in Eastvale, California. He played wide receiver and defensive back for the Mustangs football team.[1] He also played basketball and ran track. He committed to play college football at the University of Utah over competing scholarship offers from Washington and California.[2]

College career[edit]

As a true freshman at Utah in 2014, Williams played in all 13 games and made six starts. He finished the 2014 season with 59 tackles and an interception. As a sophomore in 2015, he was named first team All-Pac-12 after he recorded 65 tackles and five interceptions in 13 starts.[3][4] He intercepted a pass from California's Jared Goff in the Utes' 30–24 win on October 10.[5][6] As a junior in 2016, after missing some games due to injury, he returned on November 10 against Arizona State and recorded nine tackles and had an interception in the end zone.[7] He played in 11 games, recording 64 tackles and five interceptions.[8] He recorded four interceptions during the regular season[9] and was a second-team All-Pac-12 selection. After the season, Williams entered the 2017 NFL Draft.[10][11] He finished his college career with 11 interceptions and 188 total tackles.[12] He was predicted to be a first-round or second-round selection by several sportswriters and mock drafts.[13][14][15]

Professional career[edit]

Williams received an invitation to the NFL Combine and completed all of the combine drills. He also attended Utah's Pro Day and opted to only run positional drills for team scouts and representatives. NFL draft experts and analysts projected him to be selected in the second or third round. He was ranked the fifth best safety in the draft by NFL analyst Bucky Brooks, Mike Mayock, and Sports Illustrated, ranked the third best free safety by, and was ranked the eighth best safety by ESPN.[16][17][18][19]

External video
Williams' NFL Combine workout
Pre-draft measurables
Ht Wt Arm length Hand size 40-yard dash 10-yd split 20-yd split 20-ss 3-cone Vert jump Broad BP
6 ft 0 58 in
(1.84 m)
202 lb
(92 kg)
32 12 in
(0.83 m)
9 12 in
(0.24 m)
4.56 s 1.61 s 2.68 s 4.20 s 6.85 s 43 12 in
(1.10 m)
10 ft 9 in
(3.28 m)
14 reps
All values from NFL Combine[20][21]


The New Orleans Saints selected Williams in the second round (42nd overall) of the 2017 NFL Draft. He was the sixth safety selected in 2017.[22]

External video
Saints select Williams 42nd overall

On June 3, 2017, the New Orleans Saints signed Williams to a four-year, $6.24 million contract that includes $3.42 million guaranteed and a signing bonus of $2.67 million.[23]

During training camp, Williams competed for the role as a starting free safety against Vonn Bell. Head coach Sean Payton officially named him the backup, behind Bell, to begin the regular season.[24]

He made his professional regular season debut and first career start in the New Orleans Saints' season-opener at the Minnesota Vikings and recorded five combined tackles in their 29–19 loss.[25] He was credited with his first career tackle on wide receiver Stefon Diggs after pushing him out of bounds on the Vikings' first drive, but drew an unnecessary roughness penalty after hitting Diggs while he was out of bounds.[26] On September 24, 2017, Williams assisted on two tackles, deflected a pass, and made his first career interception off a pass by Cam Newton during a 34–13 win at the Carolina Panthers in Week 3.[27] He was inactive for the Saints' Week 13 victory against the Carolina Panthers, due to a groin injury he sustained the previous week.[28] On December 31, 2017, Williams collected a season-high eight combined tackles, two pass deflections, and made a season-high two interceptions off pass attempts by Jameis Winston in the Saints' 31–24 loss at the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. He finished his rookie season with 73 combined tackles (59 solo), seven pass deflections, and four interceptions in 15 games and 15 starts.[29] During the season, Williams was used as a third safety in Dennis Allen's three-safety technique and as an extra defensive back in nickel and dime packages. Pro Football Focus gave Williams an overall grade of 86.8, ranking him 11th among all qualified safeties in 2017.[30]

The New Orleans Saints finished first in the NFC South with an 11–5 record. On January 7, 2018, Williams started his first career playoff game and recorded eight combined tackles and a pass deflection during a 31–26 victory against the Carolina Panthers in the NFC Wildcard Game.[27]

External video
Sound FX: Stefon Diggs' Walkoff TD
Williams "I just gotta make the tackle."

On January 14, 2018, Williams made five combined tackles, two pass deflections, and intercepted a pass from Case Keenum, enabling the Saints to score a touchdown and bring their score within three points of the Vikings.[31] At the end of the game, with the Saints up by one point, Williams missed a tackle on Stefon Diggs, who took a pass along the right sideline from Keenum for a 61-yard touchdown as time expired. The play lifted Minnesota to a 29–24 victory in the NFC Divisional Round and eliminated New Orleans from the playoffs.[27] On that play, he attempted to lower his shoulder and make the tackle blindly, but ended up missing Diggs and accidentally knocked teammate Ken Crawley off his feet.[32] The play became known as the Minneapolis Miracle.


Head coach Sean Payton retained Williams as the starting free safety in 2018. He started alongside strong safety Kurt Coleman.[33] On September 16, 2018, Williams recorded four solo tackles, deflected a pass, and made an interception during a 21–18 victory against the Cleveland Browns in Week 2.[34]


In week 1 against the Houston Texans, Williams intercepted a pass from Deshaun Watson that was intended for Deandre Hopkins in the 30–28 win. [35] In week 4 against the Dallas Cowboys, Williams intercepted a Hail Mary pass from Dak Prescott to seal a 12–10 win. [36] In week 7 against the Chicago Bears, Williams forced a fumble on rookie runningback David Montgomery which was recovered by teammate AJ Klein in the 36–25 win. [37] In week 11 against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, Williams recorded a 55 yard pick six off Jameis Winston in the 34–17 win. [38]


  1. ^ Bowmer, Rick (September 15, 2015). "College Football: Williams (Roosevelt) making big plays for Utah". The Press Enterprise. Associated Press. Retrieved January 4, 2017.
  2. ^ Sorensen, Mike (October 6, 2015). "Utah free safety Marcus Williams leading the way as Utes grab more interceptions". Deseret News. Retrieved January 15, 2018.
  3. ^ Adams, Griffin (August 12, 2016). "Utes Countdown To No. 20: Marcus Williams". KSL-TV. Retrieved January 4, 2017.
  4. ^ Goon, Kyle (August 10, 2016). "Utah football: Marcus Williams shows the way to Chase Hansen, others at safety". The Salt Lake Tribune. Retrieved January 4, 2017.
  5. ^ "Utah DB Marcus Williams forces interception vs. Cal's Jared Goff". Fox Sports. October 10, 2015. Retrieved January 4, 2017.
  6. ^ "Pac-12 players to watch in 2016". Sports Illustrated. Retrieved January 4, 2017.
  7. ^ Brugler, Dan (November 15, 2016). "NFL Draft Stock Report: Utes safety Marcus Williams makes splash in return". CBS Sports. Retrieved January 4, 2017.
  8. ^ Goon, Kyle (September 29, 2016). "Utah football: Safety Marcus Williams has been special find for Utes". The Salt Lake Tribune. Retrieved January 4, 2017.
  9. ^ Muench, Steve; Weidl, Kevin (December 28, 2016). "Scouts Inc. makes two picks for every college football bowl game". ABC News. Retrieved January 4, 2017.
  10. ^ McDonald, Ryan (January 2, 2017). "Utah safety Marcus Williams announces he's turning pro with Twitter post". Deseret News. Retrieved January 4, 2017.
  11. ^ Al-Khateeb, Zac (January 2, 2017). "Utah S Marcus Williams declares for 2017 NFL Draft". Sporting News. Retrieved January 4, 2017.
  12. ^ "Marcus Williams College Stats". Sports Reference. Retrieved January 4, 2017.
  13. ^ Rang, Rob (October 25, 2016). "2017 NFL Mock Draft: Browns get Jonathan Allen -- and Deshaun Watson". CBS Sports. Retrieved January 4, 2017.
  14. ^ Burke, Matt (October 7, 2016). "2017 NFL Mock Draft: DeShone Kizer No. 1, Christian McCaffrey to Jets". Metro New York. Retrieved January 4, 2017.
  15. ^ Moore, Thomas (December 27, 2016). "Cleveland Browns bowl watch: Utah safety Marcus Williams". Fox Sports. Retrieved January 4, 2017.
  16. ^ Chris Burke (April 24, 2017). "2017 NFL draft rankings: Top prospects by position". Retrieved May 27, 2017.
  17. ^ Jeff Legwold (April 22, 2017). "Ranking the 2017 Draft's Top 100 Prospects". Retrieved May 27, 2017.
  18. ^ Bucky Brooks (April 25, 2017). "Bucky Brooks' top 5 2017 NFL Draft prospects by position 3.0". Retrieved May 27, 2017.
  19. ^ Mike Mayock (April 12, 2017). "Mike Mayock's top 5 2017 NFL Draft prospects by position 3.0". Retrieved May 27, 2017.
  20. ^ "NFL Draft Profile: Marcus Williams". Retrieved May 27, 2017.
  21. ^ "*Marcus Williams, DS #3 FS, Utah". Retrieved May 27, 2017.
  22. ^ "New Orleans Saints pick S Marcus Williams in the second round of the 2017 NFL Draft". April 28, 2017.
  23. ^ " Marcus Williams contract". Retrieved April 12, 2018.
  24. ^ Anderson, Roy (September 6, 2017). "Saints release first unofficial depth chart of regular season *UPDATED*". Retrieved April 12, 2018.
  25. ^ "NFL Game Center: Week 3-2017: New Orleans Saints @ Carolina Panthers". Retrieved April 13, 2018.
  26. ^ Teope, Herbie (September 12, 2018). "Saints' rookie Marcus Williams feels he played 'OK' in first career start". Retrieved April 13, 2018.
  27. ^ a b c "NFL Player stats: Marcus Williams (2017)". Retrieved April 13, 2018.
  28. ^ Hendrix, John (December 1, 2017). "Saints final injury report: Marcus Williams, Coby Fleener ruled out against Panthers". Retrieved April 13, 2018.
  29. ^ "NFL Player stats: Marcus Williams (career)". Retrieved April 13, 2018.
  30. ^ "NFL Player stats: Marcus Williams". Retrieved April 13, 2018.
  31. ^ Saints v. Vikings—Play–by–Play ESPN, January 14, 2018
  32. ^ Frank Schwab (January 14, 2018). "Saints safety Marcus Williams will go down in playoff infamy after whiffing on Stefon Diggs". Yahoo Sports. Retrieved January 14, 2018.
  33. ^ Parks, James (September 9, 2018). "Saints reveal depth chart vs. Bucs". Retrieved October 22, 2018.
  34. ^ "NFL Player stats: Marcus Williams (2018)". Retrieved October 22, 2018.
  35. ^ "Lutz's 58-yard field goal lifts Saints over Texans, 30-28". September 9, 2019. Retrieved September 9, 2019.
  36. ^ "Saints top Cowboys in 12-10 defensive struggle". September 29, 2019. Retrieved September 29, 2019.
  37. ^ "Bridgewater throws for 2 TDs, surging Saints top Bears 36-25". October 20, 2019. Retrieved October 20, 2019.
  38. ^ "Brees throws for 228 yards, 3 TDs as Saints beat Bucs 34-17". November 17, 2019. Retrieved November 17, 2019.

External links[edit]