Mike Williams NFL Stats
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Mike Williams NFL Game Log
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(Compared to other WRs)
Free Agent Team Injury Report
A once-promising young talent, Williams hasn’t seen regular season action since 2014 and was a longshot to crack the Chiefs' 53-man roster. Ultimately, he was released halfway through the preseason.
A torn hamstring cost Williams 10 games last year, and even when he was healthy, a terrible Buccaneers passing game slowed him down. Tampa traded Williams to the Bills this offseason where he’ll work with another young, developing quarterback in EJ Manuel. With only rookie Sammy Watkins – and potentially Robert Woods – ahead of him in the pecking order, Williams will have the chance to earn a decent workload. At 6-2, 212 and with decent speed, good athleticism and strong ball skills, Williams can get downfield (six catches of 40-plus yards in 2012), and he’s useful in the red zone. His production will hinge largely on Manuel’s development, but at least Williams is completely healthy after undergoing hamstring surgery in October – and reportedly getting stabbed in the thigh by his brother in March.
After a disastrous sophomore year, Williams got his career back on track last season.
The presence of Vincent Jackson (and his 147 targets) limited Williams' ceiling but also gave him room to operate – he had 17 catches for 20-plus (T-11th) and six catches of 40 or more yards (T-2nd). While Williams had two fewer red-zone targets than Jackson (18 to 20), 11 of Williams' looks were inside the 10 (2nd) as opposed to Jackson's three. Consequently, Williams had nine TDs to Jackson's eight.
At 6-1, 212 and with decent speed, plus athleticism and good ball skills, Williams' playmaking ability should keep him involved both down the field and near the goal line. Jackson's still the No. 1 target in Tampa, but the team’s lack of receiver depth and pass-catching tight ends should leave Williams plenty of opportunities in his fourth season.
Like the original, the sequel to “Michael Clayton” was also set in Tampa. After a promising rookie season, Williams – like his predecessor – fell off the map in Year 2, averaging just 11.9 YPC, 6.2 YPT (31st among the league’s 32 100-target WR) and scoring just three times (down from 11 in 2010). The precise reasons for the drop-off are hard to pinpoint, but quarterback Josh Freeman also played considerably worse, and the Buccaneers as a team went from 10-6 to 4-12. As a result, the Bucs cleaned house, hiring an entirely new coaching staff and bringing in free-agent Vincent Jackson (and paying him $26 million in guaranteed money). That means Williams will likely no longer be Freeman’s go-to guy, and a drop in targets should follow suit. At 6-1, 212, Williams has decent speed for a bigger receiver, runs good routes and has the athleticism and ball skills to make acrobatic plays down the field. He’ll still be in the mix, but so will Arrelious Benn, another year removed from ACL surgery, and newly signed tight end Dallas Clark will get his looks as well.
A fourth-round rookie on an offensive wasteland doesn't usually finish as the 11th best receiver on the board. But Williams was a first-round talent who dropped only due to perceived character issues, and Tampa with an improving Josh Freeman is no longer a wasteland. At 6-2, 220, Williams has decent speed for a bigger wideout. He runs good routes and has the size, athleticism and ball skills to make acrobatic plays down the field. Williams saw 18 red-zone looks last year and nine targets from inside-the-10, numbers that could increase in his second year as Tampa's improving offense makes more trips deep into opponents' territory. Williams' per-play efficiency (7.47 YPT) was pedestrian, and he didn't make a ton of big plays (two catches of 40-plus), but he should be more polished in Year 2, and his rapport with Freeman should only improve. At a minimum, Williams is the team's clear No. 1 target heading into 2011.
Though a rookie fourth-round draft pick, Williams is expected to wind up as a starting WR with the Buccaneers' in 2010. Williams actually has first-round talent but dropped in the draft due to having major off-the-field issues that led to his dismissal from the team while in college at Syracuse. If Williams can keep his head on straight he could be a very pleasant surprise as a rookie in 2010.