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Avery Williams is a special teams superstar

Hogs Haven takes a look at 2021 NFL Draft prospects that could contribute to the WFT

NCAA Football: Florida State at Boise State Melina Myers-USA TODAY Sports

Avery Williams, CB/ST
School: Boise State | Conference: Mountain West
College Experience: RS Senior | Age: 22
Height / Weight: 5’8.5” / 187 lbs
Projected Draft Status: 4-6

College Statistics

Player Overview

Avery Williams was a walk on at Boise State in 2016. As a redshirt freshman, he started 10 games, leading the Mountain West in punt return average (11.2 ypr) and punt-return touchdowns (2). He also collected 45 tackles, 2 TDs, and 8 pass break ups as cornerback. Williams had a solid sophomore season, and played well enough his junior year to be voted the Mountain West Special Teams Player of the Year. He was also selected All Mountain West First Team punt returner and honorable mention at cornerback. His senior season, he blocked two punts (recovering one in the end zone for a TD), had over 750 return yards in 7 games, and scored 4 TDs on returns (two on punts, two on kicks).

During his Pro Day, Williams worked out at running back and wide receiver in addition to cornerback.

Strengths

  • Primary value is as a special teams player. Nine career return TDs and 5 blocked field goals.
  • He’s a solid tackler.
  • Has good awareness and tracking skills.
  • Explosive short area burst.
  • Has versatility. Could be used as a pass catcher out of the backfield or in the slot.

Weaknesses

  • Undersized as a cornerback.
  • Has issues defending contested catches.
  • Will be nickel CB in the pros, if deployed on defense.

Let’s See His Work

How He Would Fit

As a cornerback, Williams is underwhelming and probably a developmental prospect, at best. As a special teamer though, he’s spectacular. In 4 years at Boise State, he had 9 return TDs and great return yardage on both punts and kickoffs. He’s also had an impact defending field goals and punts as a gunner.

I’ve said in the past that I’d consider taking the top special teamer in the draft as high as the third round - ala Terry McLaurin. While I don’t think I’d take Williams that high, I suspect the team that does eventually take him is going to need to give up at least a 5th rounder to do so. The question for Washington is, is the team willing spend a pick that high for a player who could end up a dedicated special teamer? In 2020, the WFT was in the bottom half of the league in terms of kick return average and the 6th worst team in the league on punt returns (5.7 ypr). If Nate Kaczor wants to improve his return game, it would be hard to do much better than Williams.

Poll

In what round would you consider drafting Avery Williams?

This poll is closed

  • 9%
    4th round
    (41 votes)
  • 26%
    5th round
    (118 votes)
  • 26%
    6th round
    (118 votes)
  • 28%
    7th round
    (127 votes)
  • 10%
    Not interested
    (48 votes)
452 votes total Vote Now