Trill Williams went undrafted on the third day of the NFL draft, but signed with the New Orleans Saints as a free agent. Former Syracuse defensive backs Andre Cisco and Ifeatu Melifonwu were previously taken with the 65th and 101st picks, respectively.
Williams was the least-discussed SU prospect of the trio, but scouts noted that he typically played out of position at Syracuse, lining up at nickelback instead of free safety or cornerback. The 6-foot-2, 198-pound defensive back recorded 93 tackles and four interceptions at SU, two of which came against Clemson.
“I think he’s got so much upside,” the NFL Draft Bible’s Jack Borowsky said. “He can play the slot, he can play on the outside … He can play zone, he can play man, he’s so versatile.”
During the 2020 season, Williams typically started at free safety before he opted-out of Syracuse’s final four games to prepare for the draft. Over five games in 2020, Williams registered 24 total tackles and scored a touchdown against Georgia Tech in SU’s only win of the season on Sept. 26.
“We all play this game with hopes of reaching the highest level, and now it’s my time to open that door,” Williams said in a tweet at the time of opting-out.
The Yonkers, New York, native was a top-five recruit in New York state coming out of Archbishop Stepinac High School. In 2019, Williams’ three forced fumbles were 16th nationally, and tied for second in the Atlantic Coast Conference.
Punter Nolan Cooney, who had an All-American fifth-year season in 2020, was also undrafted on Saturday. Cooney was spotted working with the New Orleans Saints’ special teams coordinator at SU’s Pro Day in March.
Let's Geaux @TrillWilliams6!
The @Saints have inked Williams to a free agent deal. pic.twitter.com/n8V7jxkJGU
— Syracuse Football (@CuseFootball) May 1, 2021
Saintsssss I’m ready to put in painnnn⚜️⚜️? #WhoDatNation
— Trill Williams (@TrillWilliams6) May 1, 2021
Trill Williams played wide corner, slot corner and safety. He has a lot of versatility.
— Nick Underhill (@nick_underhill) May 1, 2021
Kyle leads sports coverage and hosts the Concrete Jungle podcast. Have a lead or question? Send it to [email protected].