Bengals sign S Shawn Williams

The Bengals are down to just one unsigned draft pick after third-rounder Shawn Williams got all of his paperwork in order on Friday. Only top pick Tyler Eifert, a tight end from Notre Dame, remains unsigned. The Bengals had 10 picks in this year’s draft.

Williams, a safety, joins the ever-growing list of Bengals who hail from Georgia, including All-Pros in wide receiver A.J. Green and defensive tackle Geno Atkins. The Bengals are in need of another safety to step up into the starting role next to Reggie Nelson. Chris Crocker has been the starter the last few seasons but was not re-signed this offseason. Williams would seem to have the best shot at becoming an immediate starter among the entire draft class simply because of the opportunity.

He’ll be competing with a group that includes Taylor Mays, Jeromy Miles, George Iloka for playing time.

“He’s tough and smart and can run,” said defensive backs coach Mark Carrier. “There’s a lot of intangibles we like coming in but now it’s just a matter of getting acclimated to the pro game and getting his feet wet and seeing how the game plays out for him and what adjustments he can make. There are a lot of things we like, and we’ve got a pretty good record with Georgia guys.”