Meanwhile, the nickel cornerback market hasn't taken off yet. K'Waun Williams has gotten interest from the Jets, Colts, Lions, Eagles and, of course, the 49ers, but no firm offers at this point.— Matt Barrows (@mattbarrows) March 16, 2021
Originally signed as an undrafted free agent by the Cleveland Browns in 2014, Williams has played the last four seasons for the 49ers defense.
This past season, Williams recorded 22 tackles (17 solo), 5 tackles for loss, 2.0 sacks, 4 passes defensed, and a forced fumble during 8 games (4 starts).
Per PFF (subscription), Williams was tied for their 44th best cornerback overall in 2020, as he earned a +66.2 overall grade. For perspective, Colts veteran cornerback T.J. Carrie was ranked 37th (tied) best with a slightly higher +67.9 overall grade this past season.
At a listed 5’9”, 185 pounds, Williams would ideally serve as a nickelback and slot injury insurance for Colts standout Kenny Moore covering the inside.
Williams played 162 total coverage snaps in the slot this past season, allowing 16 receptions on 24 total targets for 129 receiving yards and an allowed NFL passer rating of 80.0.
7 of the 11 highest-graded slot corners over the last two years are still on the market:— Anthony Treash (@PFF_Anthony) March 16, 2021
Desmond King II
Mackensie Alexander https://t.co/Hqo6OIqqQn
While signing Williams wouldn’t impact Rhodes returning either way, it could impact Carrie—who was initially signed last offseason largely as veteran insurance in the slot for Moore before assuming a more prominent role along the outside.
Right now, Williams appears to be purely a slot cornerback and would eat into such a role.
Even though there’s some bigger named cornerbacks still available on the free agent board, Williams is a ‘Tier 2’ cornerback to watch for the Colts going forward in free agency—during the ensuing ‘Waves 2 and 3’ of NFL free agency.