2021 NFL Draft Scouting Report: Seth Williamsby Alex Barbour February 2, 2021 1 comment
Big play alert! Turn on the highlight tape because Seth Williams will be a joy to watch every time. Grab the popcorn, kick back, and relax. The hype is buzzing about this unique prospect, but there appear to be some major flaws that might hinder his success in the NFL. Can he overcome these? Are they fixable? It is time to find out.
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Name: Seth Williams
Position: Wide Receiver
Weight: 224 lbs
Williams surprisingly does not completely live up to the hype (even in his best category). Note: on this scale, 5.0 is average. There are instances of excellence, however, there are too many blips on the radar where Williams cannot catch certain balls that he definitely should have. Although this should go into the contested catch area, his contact catching needs work, as there are instances where he has a hard time bringing in the ball.
Contested Catch (6.75/10)
Williams fell slightly short in his most hyped category. He makes some acrobatic catches; however, there are many times where the ball slips past his grasp on catchable balls (he had a 16% drop rate this year). Some plays highlight his boom or bust nature in this category: in 2019, Williams went up against Patrick Surtain and Trevon Diggs, where he made an insane one-handed catch; however, he also let a couple of easy jump balls get away from him. A red flag appeared in his 2019 tape against Derek Stingley Jr., yet had poor ball tracking and body control. This resulted in a pick that might have changed the fortunes of the game if it were dropped or caught.
Against high-level talent, he seemed to have some issues that people forget by one amazing play here and there. In short, the hype is real, but Williams is far from the next Randy Moss in this regard. His quarterback play has been very spotty, so his failures may not be fully due to his play (so his score is boosted slightly to reflect that).
Straight Line Speed (6.0/10)
This is a hard category to judge. When Williams finds enough time to get to his top speed, it is very solid. He can keep defenders running with him, so they cannot give less than 100 percent on every play and hope to cover his specialty routes. The issue is that it takes a solid 2 seconds for Williams to build up any speed: this is just too much time to gain separation at the next level when quarterbacks need instant separation. His score will reflect mainly what his speed is. Note that he might not be able to reach that speed at the next level.
Short Area Burst (5.25/10)
Williams is quite slow on his acceleration. This is apparent on how he runs routes because his get-off is lackluster; however, his moves are solid (this will be highlighted next). Therefore, his score is moved from below average to just above average at a 5.25. He is a long-strider, so it takes forever for him to burst when it is not normal for his body to do so.
After the Catch (7.0/10)
This came as a surprise, given his lack of true burst. Williams can dodge tackles very well. He uses a variety of moves, which indicates that he does have solid athleticism: it just might not be in the speed category.
Williams is bereft of talent in this regard. There literally is no release package except stuttering his feet. It is a shame that such great talent elsewhere is covered by how putrid his release skills are. He needs to develop this as soon as possible at the next level (which I think he will, given his size and strength). If he cannot develop any form of release, large corners will make Williams useless.
Route Running (5.25/10)
Williams runs the select few routes he is comfortable with pretty well. This consists of curls, soft ins (not hard 90-degree cuts), and slants (crossing routes). On all other routes, he needs tremendous work. Rather than just focusing on the positives, his score must be brought down to just above average.
Ouch. Given his lack of speed and burst, it is hard to be surprised with this score. His few routes that he runs fairly well boosted this from a 1.0 to a 2.0. Williams is a stud in the contested catch game (at points). The reason for this is that he cannot catch many balls when he is open (if he ever gets open, that is).
Positional Versatility (2.5/10)
Williams has no choice but to play a slot receiver in a scheme that likes big receivers. His blocking is atrocious, yet he will somehow get one pancake block per season (he usually is the one getting pancaked). Williams might need to either lose or gain weight to fill a full-time position because, right now, his body type and athleticism do not meld well with anything but the tight end style role in the slot.
Competitive Toughness (1.75/5)
Laziness is way too apparent on tape for Williams. The epitome of this was in 2019 against Alabama, where he gave up on a play that ended up targeting him. He stopped playing and then realized that the play was still going on. His lack of athleticism created no separation, and he did not make a solid play on the ball, too. Some blocks look solid with effort, but these are heavily overshadowed by laziness everywhere else.
Williams has a few injuries across his record, but they appear to be nothing that might worsen in the NFL.
Williams demonstrates the raw tools to be an amazing prospect for the next level. With time, effort, and devotion, he can fix his major flaws. The major problem lies in the personality traits: if he remains as lazy as his tape suggests, he is beyond salvageable. All prospects come with baggage, but few come with elite talent in some areas and benefit talent in others the way Williams does. Only time will tell as to whether he will fix up his act and improve or remain a player to reminisce on for his college highlight tape. To sum it up, the raw talent is too good to pass on after early day three, but the red flags are too worrisome to warrant earlier day two picks.
Final Grade (48/100): Late Third Round
Player Comp: (Faster) Auden Tate