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Williams adds bite to secondary; Versatile corner shined in Big 12

The Buffalo Bills already addressed their need for a pass rusher in the first round, right?

They drafted Texas cornerback Aaron Williams in the second round, and while he's better suited to play in the secondary, former Oklahoma quarterback Sam Bradford might say he's quite the pass rusher.

Two years ago during the annual Red River Shootout, Williams' blitz from the right corner in the first quarter of Texas' 16-13 victory proved to be the move that knocked the reigning Heisman Trophy winner out of the game and ended his college career.

Williams didn't mean to end Bradford's collegiate career. He simply had a clear path.

"It was just a blitz," Williams said Friday after the Bills selected him with the No. 34 pick overall. "He play-faked it, his back was behind me, and I had a clean shot. I just told myself it doesn't have to be a kill shot, just make sure you get him down. I didn't hit him very hard. When he landed on the ground, he fell awkwardly on his shoulder, and that knocked him out."

The Bills, however, would like to see more of those kinds of plays. Like first-round pick Marcell Dareus, Williams brings versatility to the Bills' defense. Williams can play both cornerback and safety, although he said his best position is at corner.

"Without a doubt," he said. "I have pretty big size for corner, and I can run pretty well for my size, and I'm pretty physical. Again, I'm going to do the best I can whatever position they put me at."

That's a good attitude to have. Williams could play safety because he's physical on the line of scrimmage.

"I don't want to be a corner out there just trying to cover," Williams said. "I'm trying to be an overall great player, not just a player who's only good at one aspect of the game."

Said Bills GM Buddy Nix: "If we decide to move him inside, it'd be a lot easier going in that direction."

Williams is experienced at covering quality receivers, having played against the likes of Oklahoma State's Dez Bryant and Texas Tech's Michael Crabtree. In a 2008 matchup against Bryant, Williams and the Texas secondary held the future Dallas Cowboy to six receptions for 74 yards.

"In the NFL, every receiver is going to be good, so you have to work your technique and play hard and everything will fall into place," Williams said.

But Williams, and Texas as a team, struggled last year. Although the Longhorns secondary yielded just 161.58 yards a game, Williams didn't record an interception and has a paltry career total of four.

"It was me not finishing plays," he said. "That's the one thing I'm going to work on this year with Buffalo. I'm going to go in there with a goal of finishing plays and have more interceptions and turnovers. I just didn't catch the ball."

Still, Williams comes from a school with a lengthy list of NFL-caliber defensive backs. He is the 10th Longhorns' defensive back to be drafted in the last 10 seasons, following the likes of Earl Thomas (2010), Aaron Ross (2007), Michael Huff (2006) and Quentin Jammer (2002).

"We're a big family and look out for each other," Williams said. "Like I said, now it's time to go to work and put in the work. Do your best and prove it to Buffalo why you should've been picked."

He also comes from good bloodlines. He is the nephew of Ken Taylor, who played corner for the 1985 Chicago Bears.

"There's no way I can't watch tape. He comes down every summer to train me or watch me play," Williams said. "Every time he comes to my house, he has his tape with him, telling me, 'This is how you play defense.'"

e-mail: rmckissic@buffnews.com

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