BAILEY Williams is just as quick to pass on a media request as he is to pounce on one of the intercept marks he's becoming renowned for. 

The quietly spoken 20-year-old would rather let his footy do the talking, and his stats are screaming he is one of the best rebounding defenders in the AFL.

He's overtaken All Australian defender Easton Wood as the best at the Bulldogs, with Williams sitting equal 11th in the AFL for intercept marks (21) and 12th overall for intercept possessions (64).

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When it comes to effective ground gained, the South Australian is 13th League-wide by adding 438.5 productive metres.

Luke Beveridge believes Williams is starting to get the recognition he deserves.

"(Bailey) is a bit shy and doesn't like talking about himself," the premiership coach said.

"He's starting to get some plaudits, and that's good him and it's good for us.

"When he can (intercept) it allows us to have a bit more flexibility with our other high defenders.

"'Bails' has become a pretty good intercept player."

Backline coach Steven King is also an unabashed fan, marvelling at the rapid improvement the Glenelg product has made over the past 12 months.

With the Dogs backline ravaged by injury this season, Williams has stood up in the absence of Wood, Dale Morris and Marcus Adams.

He also helped fill the massive void left by retirements of club greats Robert Murphy and Matthew Boyd across half-back.

"Bailey is really clean, courageous and knows how to get the footy, which is a great combination," King said.

"Whether it's in the air or on the ground, he just gets the footy and doesn't make things too complicated.

"He reads the play and the pressure on the ball, and then backs himself in.

"He's built up his fitness and that's allowed him to keep his concentration later in games and run them out.

"Bailey's got a really good balance in his game now with getting the footy, making good decisions and helping defend."

Taken with pick 48 in the 2015 NAB AFL Draft, Williams was then a prolific midfielder who once amassed 56 possessions in a SANFL under 18s match.

While he sees his short-term future down back, King wouldn't be surprised if Williams gets a taste in the midfield before the season is out.

"I've had meetings with 'Bevo' about Bailey playing in the midfield in the future, but at the moment he's playing really well where he is, and intercept defenders are very hard to come by.

"We've been hit by injuries down back this year, and Bailey has been one of the few constants, so when we get a few of the boys back, that might give us an opportunity to try him in the midfield.

"He's certainly got the ability to do that."

King loves the way his protégé is diligently improving himself as a player, but the Geelong premiership ruckman wasn't thrilled when Williams returned from his holidays back in November sporting a haircut that wasn't in tune with a man keen to avoid attention.

"It was an interesting haircut and I didn't say too much about it, but the young fellas these days are a bit different," King joked.

"I'm glad he got it cut off because he didn't need to put extra pressure on himself for someone who is a bit on the quiet side."

Bailey Williams on team photo day - blonde on the right, dark on the left. Picture: Matt Suckling/Instagram