We have spent some time since the end of the 2010 NFL season discussing whether or not the New York Giants need an upgrade at the tight end position. They will definitely need one if Kevin Boss decides to leave via free agency, whenever that occurs.
With that in mind let's use today's 2011 NFL Draft prospect profile to look at another of the tight ends in this year's draft class. D.J. Williams of Arkansas is a high-upside type player who has some positional flexibility. Scouting reports after the jump.
6-foot-2, 245 pounds
Projection: Day 2
From Sideline Scouting:
Positives: Athletic... Good speed... Gets off the LOS quickly... Runs reasonably good routes... Good flexibility, body control and balance... Finds holes in zone coverage... Adjusts to the ball well... Good receiver... High points the pass... Soft and big, strong hands... Catches the ball away from his body... Physical... Not afraid to go over the middle of the field... Runs hard... Does not go down easy... Will break some tackles... Better blocker than given credit for, plays with reasonably good leverage... Good perimeter and inside blocker... Good character... Active in community service... Has overcome his abusive father (who remains in jail, with no communication) in upbringing... Won the 2010 Disney Spirit Award, presented to college football's most inspirational individual... Productive... Could also be considered as an H-Back and fullback... Selected All-SEC first team for the 2010 season and All-SEC second team for the 2008 season... This year's Aaron Hernandez, but a better blocker.
Negatives: Rounds off his routes... Can be slow and tight out of his breaks... Lacks elusiveness in open field... Adequate second level blocker... A little awkward looking in space... Doesn't break down consistently well and will miss some moving targets... A few inches shorter than ideal.
From Draft Countdown:
- Naturally athletic and very smooth
- Great speed, quickness and agility
- Soft, reliable hands and good concentration
- Nice ball skills and terrific body control
- Runs excellent routes and able to separate
- Can get verticle and stretch the seam
- Runs hard and creates after the catch
- Aggressive and gives great effort as a blocker
- Tough and virtually fearless on the field
- Below average height and bulk with short arms
- Is not very strong or powerful
- Size limits effectiveness as a blocker
- Won't be a fit for every team or system
- Might be a bit of a 'tweener
Could project to tight end, H-Back or even fullback at the next level. ... Won the John Mackey Award as the nation's top tight end in 2010. ... Certainly isn't a prototypical prospect at the position but is a dangerous pass catching threat who offers more as a blocker than you would think. ... Needs to be in the right situation and role to excel.