Preston Williams, WR
School: Colorado State | Conference: Mountain West
College Experience: RS Junior | Age: 22?
Height / Weight: 6-4 / 211 lbs
Projected Draft Status: Late Rounds or UDFA
NFL Comparison: Tanner Gentry
Preston Williams was a 4-star recruit when he committed to Tennessee back in 2015. During his senior year of high school he suffered a serious knee injury that held him back from seeing the field his freshman year until the last few games in Knoxville. Fully healthy Williams was poised to take a big step forward with his playing time and production heading into his sophomore season. But Williams had a falling out with the coaches at Tennessee and as his playing time diminished greatly. He was looking to transfer as his sophomore season came to an end. He transferred to Colorado State but under transfer rules had to sit out the 2017 season. During this time off the field Williams got into trouble. He was arrested and charged with misdemeanor assault and harassment after he pushed and restrained his then girlfriend because she was trying to move out from the off campus apartment they were staying in. He pleaded guilty to the charge and received a deferred sentence. A protection order was issued for the woman and violated after Williams allegedly called her 200 times. Williams was technically suspended by the team during the 2017 season, a season as mentioned earlier he would have had to sit out anyway. On the football field its clear Williams has talent. With an impressive combination of speed and size he can be used all over the field to cause damage to opposing teams. He had excellent production this past season. Williams was not invited to the Combine because of his arrest but just completed his Pro Day a few days ago and put up decent numbers. Williams likely will not be drafted because of his incident but if a team does take a late round flyer on him or sign him as an UDFA they will be hoping his past behavior is behind him and that he has become a better man with a focus on football.
- Excellent size and length for the position with good straight line speed.
- Not athletic by test standards but he has a clean release and can eat up cushion in zone coverage. Route running is decent he shows some crisp efficient movements when making his cuts. Also has the ability to use his size, length, and leaping ability to body defenders and compete for the catch.
- Shows decent body control when adjusting to throws that are off the mark. Most of his work comes from short and intermediate catches but he has some RAC ability to make bigger plays.
- Possession receiver who is also a threat in the red zone who is a reliable pass catcher overall. Lined up in the boundary and the slot.
- Red flags pertaining to maturity and composure off the field.
- Raw player who really only has one season worth of production under his belt. Lost a year due to transfer rules and has not really grown on the field in the way some might have expected. Consistency is spotty. Sometimes he looks like a first rounder other times he looks like an UDFA he needs to improve all aspects of his game.
- He pro day results were really disappointing and with so many athletes at the position this year it increases his chance that he goes undrafted. His raw ability was supposed to be masked with his size and athletic ability.
- Has trouble against physical corners and not much of a threat deep.
Let’s see his work:
Preston Williams... YAC ATTACK #NFLDraft pic.twitter.com/lSRM04KE0r— A.J. Milack (@AJMilackNFL) February 19, 2019
Colorado State WR Preston Williams looked great in position drills from some scouts. Some scouts said they were drilling him to get in his head. I can confirm #Bills were in attendance. All thirty two teams were there.— NFL Draft Diamonds (@DraftDiamonds) March 6, 2019
Size: 6-4, 211
BJ: 9-8 pic.twitter.com/ZFrgX9bRsl
No amount of pass interference was going to prevent Preston Williams from making this TD catch.— Colorado State Football (@CSUFootball) October 7, 2018
What a grab from Preston Williams for a @CSUFootball TD! #MWFB pic.twitter.com/nKGZ9jbocJ— Mountain West (@MountainWest) November 17, 2018
How He Would Fit On The Redskins
Williams is a polarizing prospect for many reasons but especially after his pro day numbers which some think didn’t match what they may have seen on tape. His numbers are below average and for a guy his size with his level of rawness at the position he will be a major project even if all goes well. Williams also has questions about his past off the field and if it will be a recurring issue with him. Still because of his size and raw skills Williams may generate enough intrigue for a team to roll the dice on him either late in the draft or as an UDFA. The Redskins have rolled the dice in the past on receivers with the physical profile of Williams the last few years; Robert Davis, Simmie Cobbs, and Maurice Harris come to mind. The Redskins may be interested in Williams as they look to rebuild their WR corp. The team has tried to emphasize size and other technical skills over speed and athleticism the past few years and still may be open to that approach. My concern is centered around the Redskins WR coach Ike Hilliard. There doesn’t seem to be a strong track record under his tenure of developing these late round guys, or even early round guys, to the level one might expect. Williams development may be a coin flip in Washington but for a late round pick or no pick at all it may be worth the gamble for the team.