Joejuan Williams knows teams will draft him primarily for his on-field talents.
With 61 total tackles and four interceptions in his senior season at Vanderbilt, it’s no wonder that he’s one of the top defensive back prospects in the upcoming NFL Draft.
“I feel like I can bring an all-around corner to that team,” Williams said Sunday at the annual NFL Scouting Combine. “I feel like I have the whole package. I feel like I can run, cover and hit like no other. That’s something that I also will bring to the organization.”
But Williams, who measured at an impressive 6-4, 211 pounds, made a point of emphasizing what he’ll bring to a team off the field in his meetings with the Chiefs.
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“Off-the-field wise, I told them that I’ll bring somebody, a man that’s involved in the community,” he said. “Me, being from the inner-city of Nashville, growing up how I grew up, I want to make a difference to the inner city and that’s something i strive for, doing different events, being in different organizations in the inner-city and being a part of that community.”
Williams had both an informal and formal meeting with members of the organization in Indianapolis, and he felt that he left a positive impression on them.
“They definitely liked that,” he said. “I feel like an organization wants a guy on the field, but also somebody that’s positive off the field. At the end of the day, these players in the NFL, they’re all role models. They all have something to stand on. They all have kids looking up to them. Just like I was looking up to all the Titans players back in the day.
“All those guys that I looked up to when they played for the Titans, kids now are doing the same thing and I just want to be that role model to somebody.”
Corey Ballentine has every reason to be uncomfortable at the NFL Scouting Combine.
As a product of Division-II Washburn, Ballentine is under the radar more than most of the NFL prospects in Indianapolis this week. But he isn’t letting that get in his head.
“I actually feel like I belong here,” said Ballentine, who had a formal meeting with the Chiefs scheduled for Sunday night. “I feel like I’ve always been able to compete with these guys, and I came from Division II, so I just kind of took a different road. I’ve always felt like this is where I belong, now I’m just getting a chance to prove it. I’m definitely making the most of it.
“I don’t really know anyone that’s been here before me, so I’m just trying to soak in the moment, make the best of it, try to make the best impression to teams, as well.”
A month ago, Ballentine was the first Ichabod to attend the Senior Bowl.
“It means we’re doing something right,” he said of his school. “We’ve also had NFL players in the past come through there, as well. That says something about our coaching and our coaches recruiting high-quality players, high-character players, coaching us up the right way. I think it says a lot about our football program as a whole.”
In his final season at Washburn, Ballentine earned the Cliff Harris Award as the small college defensive player of the year. He had 50 total tackles and three interceptions in his senior year.
Modeling Earl Thomas
The Chiefs were in the hunt for Seattle Seahawks safety Earl Thomas before last season’s trade deadline.
Now they could be in the mix for a prospect who counts Thomas as one of his inspirations.
Alabama safety Deionte Thompson, projected to go to the Chiefs in Mel Kiper Jr.’s first mock draft, said Thomas is among those he models his game after.
“We went to the same high school,” he said. “I watched Earl play in high school, in college and the NFL. I like Harrison Smith as well, a guy that I really model my game after. Eddie Jackson, a former Alabama player, who I model my game after. There’s a lot of safeties in the league, but those three.”
With 11 formal interviews scheduled for Sunday night, Thompson had a busy schedule. The Chiefs were one of those teams.
Thompson has a torn ligament in his right wrist that’s keeping him out of some parts of the combine. The injury occurred in a freak weight-room accident, but he plans to be ready for Alabama’s makeup pro day on April 2.
“Everyone is concerned, but when I showed them the timetable for recovery, I’ll be ready for rookie minicamp,” he said. “So that’s all that matters.”
A Veach connection
Nassir Adderley hadn’t met Chiefs general manager Brett Veach as of Sunday afternoon, but the safety already felt a connection to him.
Both Adderley and Veach are products of Delaware, an FCS school with a major NFL presence.
“That would be very cool to meet him,” Adderley said. “And it’s been so many Blue Hens out here. It’s been kind of crazy from like the athletic training staff, a lot of my coaches, like Dave Brock with the Falcons, Brian Ginn, he’s with the Bears.
“My old position coach, now he’s with the Giants. And then my coach Nick Rapone, who I had last year, he’s with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. And, so, it’s been cool to see all of them while I’m out here and I’m very fortunate to have that.”
Adderley also another strong NFL connection through his family. His cousin Herb is a Hall of Fame defensive back who won three super bowls with the Packers and Cowboys.
“He’s just extremely supportive of me, and he obviously gives me pointers during the game because one of the biggest parts that he helped me with was playing corner,” Adderley said. “I had never played corner before I got to Delaware. It was new for me, and he helped me out tremendously in terms of my alignments and what to look at and know where my help is. So, that transition was a lot smoother because of him.”
The cornerback-turned-safety, who has been projected to the Chiefs in the first round of some mock drafts, isn’t working out at the combine as he recovers from a high ankle sprain suffered during the season.