Senior Bowl Spotlight: Chad Williams, Grambling University
Photo via Chad Williams Instagram and FitSpeed Athletic Performance
Height: 6’ ½”
Weight: 204 lbs
Hands: 9 ¾”
Wing: 77 ⅛”
40 yard dash: 4.59 (range)
NFL Comparison: Laquon Treadwell, Brian Quick
Scouting Notes: Chad Williams came out of nowhere, pushing and shoving, to make himself known during a Senior Bowl week long and deep on above-average talent at the receiver position. The attention wasn’t always positive – he got into a brief but heated brawl with a defender one afternoon at practice, but Williams did enough good things to come out of the week pinging on a lot of people’s radars – including mine. Williams played aggressively and wholehearted all week, tracking the ball well in coverage, and using his physicality to high-point the ball and come down with contested catches on a regular basis. Williams isn’t going to beat many corners with explosion, so he pushes them around and uses strong hands to bring in the ball from tight windows. These windows are tight because Williams struggles to get separation at times due to his slower start off the line. Williams finishes with power though, and he has the ability to change direction on a dime which aids in picking up extra yards after the catch. Plus, he’s got excellent long speed once he gets going.
Williams takes the fire from his ball skills and translates it to successful, if not at times overzealous blocking. No coach is going to fault him for that though. Williams’ ball-hogging was exciting to watch during practices, but it would come as no surprise to those who were familiar with him during his time at Grambling where he was a star player- he had 90 catches for 1,337 yards and 11 TDs during his 2016 season there. Williams’ time in college wasn’t all roses though , as he was arrested last May for marijuana possession and firearm possession. If he can tone it down in his private life, while staying bullish on the field, Williams could surprise a lot of people at the next level.
Fantasy Outlook: It’s generally more difficult to get drafted coming from a small HBCU, though Jerry Rice and Michael Strahan are examples of former successes, and Grambling is no longer the program it was under the incomparable Eddie Robinson through the late 90’s. Williams wasn’t invited to the combine either – probably due to his checkered past (he was arrested in 2016 for marijuana and firearm charges in his hometown of Baton Rouge). That being said, he’ll likely hear his name called in the 5th or 6th round of the draft. He needs some polish on his route running, and some lessons on how to conduct himself as a professional, but Williams has natural talent and a hunger to succeed in the NFL. He returns kicks as well, which is always a boon for getting on the field. Williams is well worth a late-round flyer in dynasty leagues as a high upside playmaker who has everything to gain and a chip on his shoulder. He’s a player who can currently be had with your last pick in traditional rookie draft formats, so do not reach for him if you are interested in adding Williams as developmental and/or taxi-squad talent.