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2016 NFL Draft Profiles: SS Andrew Williamson

Andrew "the Hammer" Williamson has strong measureables at safety, but an unspectacular college career makes him a long shot for an NFL Draft pick.

Thomas B. Shea-USA TODAY Sports

Vanderbilt doesn't have many draft prospects in 2016, but there is one man who could carry on the program's tradition of Commodore defensive backs in the NFL. Andrew Williamson, a two-year starter at safety, may have put himself on draft boards across the league after an eye-opening showing at Vandy's pro day this spring.

The five-year veteran topped the team's seniors in the 40 yard dash, long jump and vertical jump to display the kind of athleticism NFL teams will gamble on late in the draft. Here's why he's worth a selection this weekend.

Andrew Williamson is a hard-hitting, run-stopping, sneaky-fast safety

Williamson uses his 4.43 second 40-yard dash speed to get upfield in a hurry. He's block-a-punt-while-completely-upright fast.

Williamson Blocked Punt

His speed and ability to identify plays made him an important reinforcement in the run game. Derek Mason snuck him up near the line of scrimmage whenever he needed to load the box, and Williamson was a key deterrent in the Commodores' second level.


But Williamson's coverage skills don't stack up

Williamson is steady in pass coverage, but he's not a playmaker. He failed to record an interception in either of his two seasons as a starter and was only credited with seven pass break-ups in that span. Instead, he was more effective when Derek Mason gave him the greenlight to break into the backfield.

The senior safety was tasked with less over-the-top help in 2015 as Torren McGaster and Tre Herndon grew as cornerbacks. That allowed Williamson to team with Oren Burks and give the 'Dores a hard-hitting duo at the hash marks, but it also limited the ground he could cover when teams went to the air against Vanderbilt. While his solid athleticism gives him the ability to make up ground when opposing teams unleash the ball downfield, he's not a lights-out coverage safety.

Here, he reacts too late to stop a Quinton Dunbar reception on third and long, then overcommits and whiffs on the tackle as a result.


One play later, he bites on a play fake and can't provide the over-the-top support needed to prevent a 60-yard gain.


Those aren't fatal flaws, but that extra learning curve is the reason some scouts situate him at the southern end of their safety lists.

Williamson wasn't a standout player in a solid Vanderbilt secondary, but he was a strong starter who adapted to Derek Mason's defense and made his team better. His solid pro day garnered extra attention from NFL scouts, but his lack of big time production will limit his draft options. Even if he doesn't get selected this weekend, expect him to end up in some team's camp this summer as a free agent.