P.J. Williams
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P.J. Williams

P. J. Williams
refer to caption
Williams in 2013
No. 26 - New Orleans Saints
Personal information
Born: (1993-06-01) June 1, 1993 (age 26)
Ocala, Florida
Height:6 ft 0 in (1.83 m)
Weight:196 lb (89 kg)
Career information
High school:Vanguard (Ocala, Florida)
College:Florida State
NFL Draft:2015 / Round: 3 / Pick: 78
Career history
Roster status:Active
Career highlights and awards
Career NFL statistics as of Week 2, 2019

Kenneth Lamar "P. J." Williams (born June 1, 1993) is an American football cornerback for the New Orleans Saints of the National Football League (NFL). He played college football at Florida State. He was the Defensive MVP of the 2014 BCS National Championship Game.

Early years

Williams attended Vanguard High School in Ocala, Florida, where he played high school football.[1] He played cornerback and wide receiver. He was ranked by Rivals.com as the nations ninth best safety recruit.[2]

In addition to football, he was also a sprinter for the track team. He ran a career-best time of 10.68 seconds in the 100 meters at the prelims of the 2011 FHSAA 3A District 5 Championships.

College career

As a true freshman in 2012, Williams played in 14 games recording 14 tackles. As a sophomore in 2013, Williams made 35 tackles, had three interceptions and scored a touchdown. He was the Defensive MVP of the 2014 BCS National Championship Game after recording seven tackles and an interception.[3][4] As a junior in 2014, Williams had 74 tackles, one interception and one sack.[5]

On January 6, 2015, Williams announced via Twitter that he decided to forgo his senior season and declare himself eligible for the 2015 NFL Draft. He stated, "I will be taking my talent to the NFL, I wanna thank the NoleNation for some of the best 3 years of my life, the memories will never fade!"[6]

Professional career

Williams was one of 54 collegiate defensive backs to attend the NFL Scouting Combine in Indianapolis, Indiana. He performed all of the combine drills and finished first among all defensive backs in the broad jump and third in the vertical jump.[7] His mediocre time in the 40-yard dash was seen as a disappointment by scouts and analysts.[8] On March 31, 2015, Williams attended Florida State's pro day and chose to stand on the majority of numbers from the combine. He posted better times in the 40-yard dash (4.48s), 20-yard dash (2.55s), and 10-yard dash (1.58s), while also improving his vertical (41") and broad jump (11'3"). He showed smooth and fluid movement and displayed good hands in his position drills despite being sick with the flu. Over 150 scouts, team representatives, and media members attended Florida State's pro day, including head coaches Sean Payton (Saints), Lovie Smith (Buccaneers), Mike Tomlin (Steelers), Todd Bowles (Jets), and Ken Whisenhunt (Titans).[9] During the draft process, Williams had private workouts and meetings with a few teams, including the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, Detroit Lions, Baltimore Ravens, and Dallas Cowboys.[10][11] On April 3, 2015, Williams was arrested for DUI, but charges were dropped for insufficient evidence on April 27. 2015. At the conclusion of the pre-draft process, NFL draft experts and scouts projected Williams to be a late first or second round pick.[12] He was ranked the third best cornerback in the draft by Sports Illustrated, the fifth best cornerback by NFL analyst Charles Davis, was ranked the ninth best cornerback in the draft by NFL analyst Mike Mayock, and was ranked the 10th best cornerback prospect in the draft by NFLDraftScout.com.[13][14][15][16]

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 in
(1.83 m)
194 lb
(88 kg)
31 in
(0.79 m)
(0.22 m)
40 in
(1.02 m)
11 ft 0 in
(3.35 m)
All values from NFL Combine[17]

The New Orleans Saints selected Williams in the third round (78th overall) of the 2015 NFL Draft.[18] Williams unexpectedly fell to the Saints in the third round and was the 11th cornerback drafted in 2015. The pick used to select Williams originally was acquired from the Miami Dolphins along with Dannell Ellerbe in exchange for Kenny Stills.


On May 12, 2015, the New Orleans Saints signed Williams to a four-year, $3.06 million contract and includes a signing bonus of $706,619.[19]

Throughout training camp, Williams competed against Kyle Wilson, Damian Swann, Stanley Jean-Baptiste, and Delvin Breaux for the starting nickelback on the depth chart.[20] On September 1, 2015, the New Orleans Saints placed Williams on injured reserve after suffering a torn hamstring. He did not appear in any games during his rookie season and defensive coordinator Rob Ryan was fired in November.[21]


Williams returned in time for organized team activities and training camp. He competed for the starting nickelback job against Damian Swann and received snaps at outside corner while Keenan Lewis was out with an injury.[22] Head coach Sean Payton named Williams the starting cornerback, along with Delvin Breaux, after the Saints opted to release Keenan Lewis.[23]

He made his professional regular season debut and first career start in the New Orleans Saints' season-opener against the Oakland Raiders and recorded five combined tackles and a pass deflection in their 35-34 loss. On September 21, 2016, Williams suffered a serious concussion while attempting to make a tackle on New York Giants' tight end Larry Donnell. During the play, Donnell's right leg appeared to strike Williams' shoulder while he attempted to tackle Donnell and then took an accidental knee to the back of the helmet by Saints' linebacker Craig Robertson. The force snapped Williams head and neck back.[24] Williams crumbled to the ground and players began frantically signaling for trainer that immediately responded and strapped Williams to a backboard and carted him off the field. It was reported he had movement of his extremities and was transported to a local hospital for testing and evaluation.[25][26] Williams finished the 16-13 loss at the New York Giants with two solo tackles and a pass deflection. On September 21, 2016, the New Orleans Saints placed Williams on injured reserve for the remainder of the season after he was diagnosed with a concussion.[27] He finished the 2016 season with seven combined tackles (five solo) and two pass deflections in two games and two starts.[28]


Williams entered training camp competing for a job as the starting cornerback, opposite Delvin Breaux, against rookie first round pick Marshon Lattimore. Head coach Sean Payton named him one of the starting cornerbacks with Ken Crawley to begin the regular season after Breaux suffered a fractured fibula during camp.[29]

He started the New Orleans Saints' season-opener at the Minnesota Vikings and recorded eight combined tackles during their 29-19 loss. The following week, he recorded a season-high ten combined tackles and a pass deflection in the Saints' 36-20 loss to the New England Patriots. On September 24, 2017, Williams made three combined tackles, deflected a pass, and made his first career interception off a pass attempt by Cam Newton in New Orleans' 34-13 victory. Although he played well, Williams was demoted to a reserve role behind Marshon Lattimore and Ken Crawley due to an unspecified disciplinary issue prior to their Week 4 matchup at the Miami Dolphins. Head coach Sean Payton declined to further comment on the matter, stating it was between the team and Williams.[30] In Week 9, Williams recorded two combined tackles and deflected a pass during a 30-10 victory over the Tampa Bay Buccaneers after returning from a four-game stretch where he did not record a stat. On November 26, 2017, he made three solo tackles, three pass deflections, and intercepted Jared Goff in the Saints' 26-20 loss at the Los Angeles Rams. Williams finished the 2017 season with 47 combined tackles (34 solo), nine pass deflections, and two interceptions in 16 games and six starts.[31]

The New Orleans Saints finished the season first in the NFC South with an 11-5 record and received a wildcard playoff berth. On January 7, 2018, Williams played in his first playoff game and recorded a tackle and a pass deflection during the Saints' 31-26 victory over the Carolina Panthers in the NFC Wildcard game. The following week, he recorded four combined tackles and defended a pass as the Saints lost 29-24 at the Minnesota Vikings.[31]


In Week 8, Williams intercepted a pass from quarterback Kirk Cousins and returned it 45 yards for the touchdown in a 30-20 win over the Minnesota Vikings, earning him NFC Defensive Player of the Week.[32]


On April 2, 2019, Williams re-signed with the Saints.[33] He was suspended for two games on October 15, 2019, for violating the NFL's substance abuse policy.[34] He was reinstated from suspension on October 29, 2019, and the team received a roster exemption for him. He was activated the next day. In week 11 against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, Williams recorded his first interception of the season off a pass thrown by Jameis Winston in the 34-17 win. [35]

Personal life

On October 5, 2014, Williams was involved in a car accident in Tallahassee, Florida. He and his two passengers, including teammate Ronald Darby, fled the scene of the accident. Williams was driving with a suspended license. The Tallahassee Police Department initially identified the accident as a hit and run, but downgraded the incident, only issuing Williams two tickets. The accident was not included in Tallahassee's public online database of police calls.[36]

On April 3, 2015, Williams was arrested for DUI in Tallahassee, Florida. Williams was pulled over after making an illegal left turn and swearing while he was driving a rental vehicle on a suspended license. The officer claimed Williams had blood shot and watery eyes and displayed slurred speech. He was arrested after declining to perform a field sobriety test and to take a breathalyzer at Leon County Jail.[37][38] On April 27, 2015, it was reported that the DUI charge had been dropped. Paperwork filed by the state attorney stated, "The state is unable" to prove that Williams was driving and that his faculties were impaired by alcohol."[39]


  1. ^ "Vanguard alumni PJ Williams drafted by the New Orleans Saints". Ocala Post. May 2, 2015. Retrieved 2019.
  2. ^ Rivals.com
  3. ^ Winston and Williams earn MVP honors
  4. ^ Beck, Ted. "Ocala native gives life to 'Noles in title game". Ocala.com. Retrieved 2019.
  5. ^ "P.J. Williams 2014 Game Log". College Football at Sports-Reference.com. August 1, 2019. Retrieved 2019.
  6. ^ Hinnen, Jerry (January 6, 2018). "Florida State CB P.J. Williams announces he will enter draft". CBSsports.com. Retrieved 2018.
  7. ^ Adam Stites (February 23, 2015). "NFL Combine 2015: Full results for defensive backs". SBNation.com. Retrieved 2018.
  8. ^ Bucky Brooks (February 23, 2015). "NFL combine: Trae Waynes shines; P.J. Williams has work to do". Retrieved 2015.
  9. ^ Gil Brandt (March 31, 2015). "Mario Edwards, Jr. upgrades his draft status at FSU's pro day". NFL.com. Retrieved 2018.
  10. ^ Aaron Wilson (March 25, 2015). "Florida State cornerback P.J. Williams to visit Ravens, sources say". baltimoresun.com. Retrieved 2018.
  11. ^ Jeffrey Kahn (April 9, 2015). "P.J. Williams takes pre-draft visit to Dallas Cowboys`". 247sports.com. Retrieved 2018.
  12. ^ "FSU's P.J. Williams could be taken in first round of the NFL Draft". orlandosentinel.com. February 16, 2015. Retrieved 2018.
  13. ^ "*P.J. Williams, DS #10 CB, Florida State". NFLDraftScout.com. Retrieved 2018.
  14. ^ Chris Burke (April 14, 2015). "2015 NFL Draft Rankings: Cornerbacks". si.com. Retrieved 2018.
  15. ^ Charles Davis (April 1, 2015). "2015 NFL Draft prospect rankings by position". NFL.com. Retrieved 2018.
  16. ^ Mike Mayock (April 27, 2015). "2015 NFL Draft: Mike Mayock's top 100 prospects". NFL.com. Retrieved 2018.
  17. ^ "NFL Draft Profile: P.J. Williams". NFL.com. Retrieved 2018.
  18. ^ "New Orleans Saints select Florida State DB P.J. Williams in the third round of the 2015 NFL Draft". NewOrleansSaints.com. May 1, 2015. Retrieved 2018.
  19. ^ "Spotrac.com: P. J. Williams contract". Spotrac.com. Retrieved 2018.
  20. ^ Scott Polacek (September 1, 2015). "P.J. Williams Injury: Updates on Saints CB's Hamstring and Recovery". Bleacherreport.com. Retrieved 2018.
  21. ^ Dan Wilkins (September 1, 2015). "Report: Saints place P.J. Williams on IR with torn hamstring". thescore.com. Retrieved 2018.
  22. ^ Underhill, Nick (August 5, 2016). "IR no more: Cornerback P.J. Williams starting to turn heads at Saints camp". theadvocate.com. Retrieved 2018.
  23. ^ "New Orleans Saints release first unofficial depth chart for the 2016 season". FoxSports.com. Retrieved 2018.
  24. ^ "Saints place CB P.J. Williams on injured reserve, sign OT Tony Hills".
  25. ^ Greer, Jordan (September 18, 2016). "Saints' P.J. Williams carted off field after multiple hits to head". sportingnews.com. Retrieved 2018.
  26. ^ "Update: Saints' P.J. Williams carted off, able to move fingers and toes after scary collision". Nola.com. September 18, 2016. Retrieved 2018.
  27. ^ Triplett, Mike (September 22, 2016). "Saints place CB P.J. Williams (concussion) on injured reserve". ESPN.com. Retrieved 2018.
  28. ^ "NFL Player stats: P. J. Williams (2016)". NFL.com. Retrieved 2018.
  29. ^ Anderson, Roy (September 1, 2017). "Saints release first unofficial depth chart of regular season *UPDATED*". whodatdish.com. Retrieved 2018.
  30. ^ "Sean Payton on benching P.J. Williams: 'That would be between us and P.J'". Nola.com. October 1, 2017. Retrieved 2018.
  31. ^ a b "NFL player stats: P.J. Williams (2017)". NFL.com. Retrieved 2018.
  32. ^ "James Conner, Adrian Peterson among Players of the Week". NFL.com. October 31, 2018. Retrieved 2019.
  33. ^ Williams, Charean (April 2, 2019). "Saints sign P.J. Williams to a one-year deal". Pro Football Talk. NBC Sports.
  34. ^ Triplett, Mike (October 15, 2019). "Saints' P.J. Williams suspended 2 games for violating substance- abuse policy". ESPN.com. Retrieved 2019.
  35. ^ "Brees throws for 228 yards, 3 TDs as Saints beat Bucs 34-17". www.espn.com. November 17, 2019. Retrieved 2019.
  36. ^ https://www.nytimes.com/2014/11/15/sports/ncaafootball/for-an-fsu-football-player-a-hit-and-run-becomes-two-traffic-tickets.html?_r=0
  37. ^ Chase Goodbread (April 3, 2015). "Florida State prospect P.J. Williams arrested on DUI charge". NFL.com. Retrieved 2018.
  38. ^ Safid Deen (April 3, 2015). "Former FSU CB P.J. Williams arrested, charged with DUI". tallahassee.com. Retrieved 2018.
  39. ^ Mike Huguenin (April 27, 2015). "DUI case against Florida State CB P.J. Williams dismissed". NFL.com. Retrieved 2018.

External links

  This article uses material from the Wikipedia page available here. It is released under the Creative Commons Attribution-Share-Alike License 3.0.



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