Next April’s NFL Draft will give NFL teams one of the best wide receiver classes we have seen in a long time. There isn’t a Calvin Johnson or a Larry Fitzgerald, but there is depth upon depth upon depth. There could be at least 15 future starting wide receivers and several more solid slot receivers and role players as well.
Keenan Allen, Justin Hunter and Robert Woods are getting all of the attention in this wide receiver class, but Baylor’s Terrance Williams may be the best polished. His body control, body positioning and route running are already at an NFL level. Polished wide receivers coming into the NFL seem to always have the most success in their rookie seasons. Williams should have a lot of early success, because he is so technically sounds.
I re-watched the Baylor-Texas game and came away even more impressed with Williams. Whenever you scout a wide receiver prospects for the Philadelphia Eagles, you have to start with their run blocking ability. The Eagles run a lot of screens and outside runs. The wide recievers in Andy Reid’s offense have to be able to block well. Jeremy Maclin, DeSean Jackson and Jason Avant are outstanding blockers. Williams should be as well.
The be a good blocking wide receiver you need two things. You need the desire to block and you need to be disciplined enough not to take bad holding penalties. It doesn’t take a big wide out to be a good blocker. The majority of the time, the outside receiver is blocking a corner who is right around 5’11, 190 pounds. I like what I see from Williams as a blocker. He is willing and disciplined. It also helps that he has good size at 6’2, 205 pounds.
Williams had a big day against the Texas secondary. I love the way Baylor uses Williams in their spread offense. Most of their runs come from choice or draw runs up the middle. They use Williams to try and draw a corner and safety away from the run. They also take what the defense gives them in terms of Williams’ routes.
He gained 27 yards off of quick screens when the Texas corners were played eight yards off. He also burned his man on a double move on a 81 yard touchdown catch. The touchdown catch was brilliant. Baylor quarterback Nick Florence fakes the handoff, which drew in the safety designed to help over the top against Williams. All he had to do was fake out the corner and he would be gone. Williams juked his man out of his shoes and he lost his footing. Williams easily scored. The play showed quick feet, great change of direction ability and great straight line speed as well.
That play demonstrated his athletic ability and quickness, this next catch demonstrated his body positioning and route running abilities. Baylor was driving, down at the Texas 40. Williams ran a simple vertical route, but it was his positioning on the route was exceptional. He ran the route about a yard from the boundary. The corner had to stay to his outside in order to guard against a skinny post. That left enough room for Florence to hit Williams right at the boundary. It took a good throw, but it was Williams’ footwork and body positioning that made this play work. It was a 34 yard connection that lead to a Baylor touchdown.
Williams finished with 10 receptions for 183 yards and one touchdown against Texas. He solidified himself as a late first or early second round drat pick next April. The Eagles need another reliable outside wide receiver. Whenever Maclin or Jackson go down, the offense suffers. Having another solid wide out would give this offense the needed depth to consistently put up 27 to 34 points each week. It also allows DeSean Jackson to be the full time punt returner without the fear of losing him to injury. If the Eagles Pick in the early to late 20s, Williams would be their best bet at the wide receiver position.