Joejuan Williams possesses the versatility that is coveted among the New England Patriots, but with a deep secondary group it’s no certainty the former second-rounder has a roster spot locked up.
Williams, a second-round pick in the 2019 NFL Draft, is entering his third campaign with the organization. He’s played a combined 24 games through two seasons, but made more than 50 percent of defensive snaps just twice.
Now, the 6-foot-3, 212-pound defensive back is just trying to do what he can to stick in New England.
“It’s really wherever they want me to be at, whether that’s corner, covering tight ends and being a safety. I’m just trying to learn,” Williams said after practice. “At the end of the day, just trying to learn the position and be valuable to this defense.”
Williams played snaps at both cornerback and safety each of the last two seasons. The Vanderbilt product played just 18 percent of the defensive snaps in 2020 while competing for playing time among a loaded secondary.
There’s been some moving parts since then, as Jason McCourty departed in free agency and the Patriots signed Jalen Mills, who’s also capable of playing the hybrid role. All-Pro cornerback Stephon Gilmore has yet to practice as remains on the physically unable to perform (PUP) list.
But with a depth chart that includes J.C. Jackson, Jonathan Jones and Gilmore at cornerback, as well as Devin McCourty, Adrian Philips, Kyle Dugger and Mills at safety, Jones could be on the chopping block this summer.