Jeremy Williams, Tulane
Jeremy Williams rehabbed intensively for the 2009 season after a knee injury and broken hands sidelined him for much of 2008, a season in which Williams was beginning to break out with 27 catches, 437 yards and 5 TD in 5 games before being hurt. Coming back in 2009 with something to prove, Williams was once again Tulane’s top pass catching threat.
Bolstered by a 10-catch, 222-yard performance over McNeese State, Williams caught 84 passes for 1,113 yards and 7 TD this past year, posting 5 100-yard games and three 10-catch games along the way. He has been a productive receiver ever since he stepped on the field at Tulane, catching 40 passes for 484 yards and 2 TD as a redshirt freshman in 2006 and following that up with 46 catches for 776 yards and 5 TD in 2007.
Williams may never develop into a star but he has the appearance of dependable, chain-moving receiver at the next level. None of his measurable will jump out at you, nor will his stats, but Williams has gotten the job done for Tulane time and time again. His greatest attributes are his tough running style and excellent route running. Williams doesn’t explode of the line but has become adept at using head and shoulder fakes to get a release and is strong enough get off the jam. Once into his route, Williams again is very good at using his head to create separation and will freeze defenders with very deceptive double moves.
Route running is an art that too few prospects have mastered and Williams will have a leg up getting on the field. In fact, coupled with his skills and determination as a blocker, Williams could find himself declared ready for action as early as late in his rookie year or even by year two. Also working in his favour is his ability to return kicks. Not quick-twitch enough to be considered elite here, his physical running style will give him a chance to earn a job. His hands are very solid though he has been guilty of not always looking the ball in.
As Tulane’s only real threat in the passing game, Williams had some high points and some low points in 2009. He posted 6 TD’s in 3 games, all 2-TD games, but only 1 in the other 9 games. Southern Miss held him to only 4 catches for 21 yards and Brigham Young gave Williams only 5 catches for 56 yards, but he did manage 8 catches for 78 yards against LSU. He didn’t catch a TD in any of those games. Flashback to 2008 and Williams opened the season against #6 Alabama and managed only 4 catches for 26 yards.
Williams is a 4.5 runner, plain and simple, and that will deter some from risking more than a 4th round pick on him in the draft. He ran a 4.59 at the combine and a 4.49 at his Pro Day, so let’s figure he’s somewhere in the middle. That’s still not a great time for someone 6’0” 206lbs. Add 2 inches and 20lbs and that’s not so bad, but at his size it is looked at as a negative. He’s not a stud athlete either, getting by on intelligence and skill more than athletic gifts. He’s no slouch, but he’s far from elite.
The knee injury he suffered in 2008 was not overly serious though he looked less explosive in 2009 than he did pre-injury. It will be thoroughly checked out and he should be fully healthy once again. He comes with no baggage and by all accounts is an affable guy and well-liked.
Projecting as a third or fourth option with potential to be a #2 gets Williams drafted around the 4th round. He may be able to go slightly higher but his knee injury and slow 40 time will keep him from going any higher than late 3rd. That said, he’s not a bad prospect. He brings some qualities and intangibles that will endear to coach’s and make him valuable as a backup, like his ability and willingness to return and cover kicks. He should win a backup role next year for someone.