NFL Draft Spotlight: Damian Williams, WR, USC

by Cory J. Bonini on April 9, 2010 @ 03:41:37 PDT

 


A fourth-year junior, former USC wide receiver Damian Williams opted for the NFL and is a talented but unheralded name circulating the top 10 of available wideouts. Williams, a transfer from Arkansas following the 2006 season, sat out the 2007 season due to NCAA rules about switching schools. He registered his best statistical season in 2009: 70 receptions for 1,010 yards and six touchdowns.

Strengths

  • Route-running skills: Williams will impress NFL coaches with his footwork and precision.
  • Soft hands: rarely lets the ball hit his body or the ground
  • Quick feet, changes direction well
  • Burst in and out of breaks - a suddenness that will frustrate defensive backs
  • Pro-style experience in a West Coast system
  • Very good body control - passes don't have to be on target
  • Excellent work ethic
  • Of impeccable character
  • NFL-ready, polished player
    Damian Williams, WR, USC
    Very polished
  • Seems to understand coverages well - finds soft spots in zone schemes and knows how to gain yards after the catch through savvy decision-making
  • Willing downfield blocker

Weaknesses

  • Lack of straight-line speed: 4.52 40-yard dash
  • May struggle off the line against press coverage
  • Lacks lateral agility to escape
  • Shoulder dislocation required surgery to repair ligament damage in 2007

Expected draft placement

There isn't much to dislike about Williams. He should develop into a quality No. 2 receiver in the NFL, and he could even become a low-end No. 1 for a run-first squad. Either way, we expect to see him come off the board in the second round. It's unlikely he falls beyond the middle of the third round. His elite route-running skills and strong character will endear him to coaching staffs.

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About Cory J. Bonini

Cory is KFFL's General Manager. In late 2002, he joined the KFFL staff as a research analyst and has been involved in fantasy sports since 1996. A member of the Fantasy Sports Trade Association, as well as Fantasy Sports Writers Association, Bonini has been featured in print, on radio and on scores of websites. Bonini co-hosted Big Lead Sports on SiriusXM Fantasy Sports Radio from 2011 to 2012.

Bonini was recognized with the 2010 Best Article in Print Award from the FSWA and was a finalist for the same award in 2011. In '11, he finished first overall in the FSWA NFL experts challenge that featured 60 of the industry's best competitors.

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