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Williams: Part II

Posted Apr 23, 2005

Broncos' second-round pick Darrent Williams looks to make an immeidate contribution on special teams.

Denver Opens Draft by Selecting a Williams for Second Straight Year

williams_darrent_mug.jpg
DenverBroncos.com

For the second consecutive year a defensive player named Williams was chosen by the Broncos to commence the NFL Draft. Oklahoma State cornerback Darrent Williams was selected by Denver in the second round with the 56th overall choice. In 2004, Denver began their draft by taking linebacker D.J. Williams.

The secondary was an area that had been speculated by many as an area the team would reload through the draft, given the departures of Kenoy Kennedy and Kelly Herndon via free agency.  The Broncos obliged by picking the 5'8", 188-pound Cowboy with their first selection.

But cornerback is not the only spot Williams can contribute to the club as he also is an accomplished special teamer, an aspect of Denver's game Head Coach Mike Shanahan also is seeking to upgrade.

“We really feel that he can help us, number one, in special teams," said Shanahan. "Any time you have a guy that is a punt returner and a kickoff returner, a guy that has the speed to cover on punts and kickoffs, you feel like you’ve got a guy that can come in right away and help your football team."

“I think I can come in and contribute right away next season," echoed Williams. "Being a starter on kick returns and punt returns, I feel like I was a dual threat in the draft anyway, one of the few dual threats. I think I come right now and contribute as a returner."

Williams returned 22 punts over his career for 482 yards, a 21.9 yard average, and scored three touchdowns. He also added 83 yards on four kickoff returns, good for a 20.8 yard average.

He also possesses great speed, having rattled off a 4.3 time in the 40-yard dash at February's Combine in Indianapolis. Along with his quickness and physical nature, Williams holds the qualities to perform at a high level as a cornerback, the NFL's most thankless position.

But it's on special teams where Williams has a chance to make the most immediate impact, as is often the case with most rookies in the NFL.

"That was one of the areas last year that I thought we needed to improve on was our field position," said Shanahan. "We were very average in the special teams area, and hopefully he will come in and help us.”

Williams may also have a bit of a burr under his saddle to serve as motivation when he gets to Denver. He was forced to miss four games during his senior season due to a broken arm and did not play in his final collegiate game in the Alamo Bowl against Ohio State due to a violation of team rules. No doubt, he is chomping at the bit to get back on the field.

Like every rookie, his chance has now arrived.  Time will tell if Darrent's first year will be as strong as D.J.'s