2019 Raiders Draft Prospect Profile
Name: Preston Williams
Position: Wide Receiver
School: Colorado State University
Weight: 210 pounds
Draft Projection: Day 3
Williams needed to adjust mid route to late passes in his direction without breaking stride. While reaching out, whether behind, in front of, or above his head, the adjustment to bad throws definitely stands out. With good hands and a snap to secure, Williams evolved his formerly robotic technique into a draftable trait. More importantly, he will not shy away from the contested catch, jostling with corners, in order to make the grab.
For the first 10-15 yards of a vertical route, Williams gathers speed. After that, the strides elongate and he gets up to speed. Like most wideouts with his size, he needs those strides to catch deep passes. With that said, he should feast on intermediate routes with the potential to stretch those routes into something deeper, due to poor tackling and poor angles. Williams’ strength downfield with make him seem faster than what he actually will be.
The key to Williams’ development will be displaying the ability to not tip routes. That is to say, if he turns too early or paces his route, corners will not be able to predict. However, to his credit, Williams will sell the in-cutting route with a shoulder fake, forcing the corner to readjust and get flat-footed.
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CSU used Williams wisely in 2018. By dragging him, that guarantees daylight. Yet, in the red zone, watch for the fade. Williams’ strength and depth of route allows him to carve out a vast swath of the end zone. At the next level, look for Williams to utilize the middle of the field and down the sidelines.
Williams transferred from a floundering Tennessee team for a shot at a better offense. People will discount his one dominant year as a fluke. Yet, film does not lie and you can see tools.
Williams suffered a knee injury that cost him the 2017 season.
On the third day of the draft, the Raiders could see Williams slide into the third receiver spot, currently occupied by Seth Roberts. With Williams, Jon Gruden gets a bigger target with a bit more explosion and the ability to outmuscle corners in the rezone. More importantly, with the Raiders cutting Roberts in favor of Williams, Jon Gruden continues to build the team in his own way. After all, the whole reconstruction needs completion. If the Raiders are going to remodel the roster, most of the previous regime’s players need to exit.