Preston Williams????

BigNastyFish

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I've never seen his hands as a weakness.

I think you have to watch the film of him against real talent. You can't really pay too much attention to all those catches, yards and TD's against MWC defensive backs from Air Force and Hawaii that he can just run by due to his talent or blown coverages. You have to watch him matched up against who is in my opinion the top underclassman CB in the 2020 draft. C.J. Henderson of Florida.

Williams was able to be physical and beat the press of Henderson when he was lined up outside and not in the slot. He was able to create separation from Henderson with his route running (sinking his hips) and being physical. He was able to break tackles and physically compete against that caliber of defense with the ball in his hands - forcing the 2nd or 3rd guy there to have to bring him down. The only time I really saw the first tackler bring him down were on reverses (Vosean Joseph, etc.)

Kid could always play.
I watched that last night and came away positively impressed. Appreciate your concise analysis.
From what I saw, the dude had the D beat deep a number of times but his QB was essentially being
pummeled and couldn't get the ball out (Colorado State's OL was seriously outclassed by the Gator DL).

But Williams still made some plays and was obviously ready to compete.

BTW SO RIGHT about the dawg thing.

I love the attitude this kid plays with -- I'll root for him on that premise alone.
We need that so bad...
 

ckparrothead

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What strikes me is the completeness of his game.

He gets off the line of scrimmage well, he cuts well on the run, he was pretty precise with those switch routes and route combinations they run in that offense, showing a lot of awareness of the other receiver and of route depth. He runs his routes with awareness of DB leverage. He was coached by a former NFL wide receiver who is now the WR Coach of the Green Bay Packers. This was not "three-route" stuff like you see with D.K. Metcalf and others. He ran routes he will run in the NFL.

His hands are good. It's not like Ricardo Louis for example, who is always catching the football at the wrist and double clutching everything. I see some drops tallied on his season totals. I've watched 9 of his games and I can't for the life of me think that I've seen anywhere close to 10 drops but OK whatever. His catching technique is good, his eyes are good, and the guy regularly makes plays on the ball in 50/50 situations. Don't know what more you could ask.

I think he's shown his top-end speed on the football field, but he also showed it with his flying twenty at the pro day. That's one thing I don't think the NFL scouts are seeing. He was lasered from the 20 yard split to the 40 yard split in 1.84 seconds. The only guys that did it significantly faster this year are guys you'd expect, like Gary Jennings, Terry McLaurin, Mecole Hardman, Darius Slayton, Parris Campbell, D.K. Metcalf, Emanuel Hall. I mean, duh. The point is only one of those guys runs taller than 6'2" and that guy was pushed up to the top of the draft primarily on the basis of that size/speed combo.

People will try and talk to me about the 10 yard split and I don't care like they do. The track start isn't a football move for a wide receiver in the first place. But the real problem is the track start is subject to misinterpretation by the guy in charge of starting the laser timer, and it's also subject to frivolous technical screw-ups by the player himself. He could end up with a poor time because he lifted his arm up off the ground before he really exploded with his feet, or because he rocked forward before he exploded. Both of those technical mistakes will result in the timer starting too early, adding a tenth or even two-tenths of a second. But notice I haven't described a single thing that actually matters on a football field.

So he's got rare top-end/height combo. He's got good hands. He's been trained on NFL routes and runs them well. He's got natural skills in route running. He gets off the line and off the press. He blocks really well. He transitions beautifully to run after catch and is hard to bring down, as Slimm detailed. As I said, there's a completeness to him as a prospect that is very attractive. That's not to say he's got elite level overall talent. It just means there aren't many if any glaring holes in his game.

It really IS the pro day and the character stuff weighing him down. And those are significant concerns, particularly if work ethic was an issue with the poor pro day results.
 

Awsi Dooger

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I remember the hype about Renaldo Nehemiah until he got blasted on crossing pattern.
End of story. He folded like a cheap Wal-Mart suit.
I'm not acknowledging any criticism of Renaldo Nehemiah. Guy was an absolute freak. Ultimate legend in the track and field world. Decades before his time...breaking the 13 second barrier. That is very seldom accomplished today. If you look at the sub 13 numbers Nehemiah's 12.93 stands alone as bizarre, given when it happened. Just too bad the 1980 Olympics got taken away from him. Otherwise the sporting public in general would be more aware of him, to this day.

I was very fortunate to see so many elite athletes in the Southern California area while attending USC from late '70s to early '80s. I've rattled off some of those stories among Ronnie Lott, Marcus Allen, Kenny Easley, Karch Kiraly and others. John Elway was up the coast at Stanford so I saw him play football and baseball many times. All of those guys already stood out. We didn't have to wait for them or guess how their pro careers would pan out.

None of them were in Renaldo Nehemiah's league. In terms of legend and awe it would have been Nehemiah, then a gap to Kiraly, then Easley. Nehemiah was held in such high regard toward athletic superiority I remember John Robinson referencing him several times in press conferences and also the USC practice field, like when a player tried to jump for an errant pass: "Nice try but you're not exactly Skeets."

Nobody needed a glossary. Skeets was Nehemiah's nickname.

Saddened that this stuff gets lost over time. Nehemiah was at the Penn Relays last weekend, site of perhaps his most legendary string of races in 1979. I kept thinking the announcer is properly gushing over him but the typical fan in this era would have no clue. Nehemiah was a 110 hurdler for gush sakes but ran a 44.3 anchor leg to make up a 25 meter deficit and pull out the 4 x 100 relay.

Anyway, I realize the football memory is that crossing pattern on Monday Night Football. Big deal. It was a worthwhile attempt by Bill Walsh. Kind of ridiculous that Skeets owns a Super Bowl ring but no Olympic medal. He lost his entire prime due to the boycott and was never able to recapture that sub-13 level when he returned to the track after the 49ers drafted Jerry Rice.

***

Regarding this Williams guy, I can't get excited because it seems like that type of receiver earns too much hype if undrafted or drafted late. I've fallen for it many times. The quick and/or clever overlooked receivers sometimes boom well beyond projection but not the bigger guys. I'm sure somebody can did up an exception. Great.
 

BigNastyFish

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I'm not acknowledging any criticism of Renaldo Nehemiah. Guy was an absolute freak. Ultimate legend in the track and field world. Decades before his time...breaking the 13 second barrier. That is very seldom accomplished today. If you look at the sub 13 numbers Nehemiah's 12.93 stands alone as bizarre, given when it happened. Just too bad the 1980 Olympics got taken away from him. Otherwise the sporting public in general would be more aware of him, to this day.

I was very fortunate to see so many elite athletes in the Southern California area while attending USC from late '70s to early '80s. I've rattled off some of those stories among Ronnie Lott, Marcus Allen, Kenny Easley, Karch Kiraly and others. John Elway was up the coast at Stanford so I saw him play football and baseball many times. All of those guys already stood out. We didn't have to wait for them or guess how their pro careers would pan out.

None of them were in Renaldo Nehemiah's league. In terms of legend and awe it would have been Nehemiah, then a gap to Kiraly, then Easley. Nehemiah was held in such high regard toward athletic superiority I remember John Robinson referencing him several times in press conferences and also the USC practice field, like when a player tried to jump for an errant pass: "Nice try but you're not exactly Skeets."

Nobody needed a glossary. Skeets was Nehemiah's nickname.

Saddened that this stuff gets lost over time. Nehemiah was at the Penn Relays last weekend, site of perhaps his most legendary string of races in 1979. I kept thinking the announcer is properly gushing over him but the typical fan in this era would have no clue. Nehemiah was a 110 hurdler for gush sakes but ran a 44.3 anchor leg to make up a 25 meter deficit and pull out the 4 x 100 relay.

Anyway, I realize the football memory is that crossing pattern on Monday Night Football. Big deal. It was a worthwhile attempt by Bill Walsh. Kind of ridiculous that Skeets owns a Super Bowl ring but no Olympic medal. He lost his entire prime due to the boycott and was never able to recapture that sub-13 level when he returned to the track after the 49ers drafted Jerry Rice.

***

Regarding this Williams guy, I can't get excited because it seems like that type of receiver earns too much hype if undrafted or drafted late. I've fallen for it many times. The quick and/or clever overlooked receivers sometimes boom well beyond projection but not the bigger guys. I'm sure somebody can did up an exception. Great.
Kinda was my point -- related to amazing athletic stats not necessarily translating as an amazing football player.
I agree Nehemiah was a freak athlete on the track but he wasn't a football player -- and I do remember when he
got blown up across the middle and that was that. He'd probably fair better in the touch football rules we have
today.

In addition, I also posted the similarity to Parker who wasn't drafted "late" but R1.

Good for you you're not excited.

I'm looking forward to see what the kid can do.
 

djphinfan

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What strikes me is the completeness of his game.

He gets off the line of scrimmage well, he cuts well on the run, he was pretty precise with those switch routes and route combinations they run in that offense, showing a lot of awareness of the other receiver and of route depth. He runs his routes with awareness of DB leverage. He was coached by a former NFL wide receiver who is now the WR Coach of the Green Bay Packers. This was not "three-route" stuff like you see with D.K. Metcalf and others. He ran routes he will run in the NFL.

His hands are good. It's not like Ricardo Louis for example, who is always catching the football at the wrist and double clutching everything. I see some drops tallied on his season totals. I've watched 9 of his games and I can't for the life of me think that I've seen anywhere close to 10 drops but OK whatever. His catching technique is good, his eyes are good, and the guy regularly makes plays on the ball in 50/50 situations. Don't know what more you could ask.

I think he's shown his top-end speed on the football field, but he also showed it with his flying twenty at the pro day. That's one thing I don't think the NFL scouts are seeing. He was lasered from the 20 yard split to the 40 yard split in 1.84 seconds. The only guys that did it significantly faster this year are guys you'd expect, like Gary Jennings, Terry McLaurin, Mecole Hardman, Darius Slayton, Parris Campbell, D.K. Metcalf, Emanuel Hall. I mean, duh. The point is only one of those guys runs taller than 6'2" and that guy was pushed up to the top of the draft primarily on the basis of that size/speed combo.

People will try and talk to me about the 10 yard split and I don't care like they do. The track start isn't a football move for a wide receiver in the first place. But the real problem is the track start is subject to misinterpretation by the guy in charge of starting the laser timer, and it's also subject to frivolous technical screw-ups by the player himself. He could end up with a poor time because he lifted his arm up off the ground before he really exploded with his feet, or because he rocked forward before he exploded. Both of those technical mistakes will result in the timer starting too early, adding a tenth or even two-tenths of a second. But notice I haven't described a single thing that actually matters on a football field.

So he's got rare top-end/height combo. He's got good hands. He's been trained on NFL routes and runs them well. He's got natural skills in route running. He gets off the line and off the press. He blocks really well. He transitions beautifully to run after catch and is hard to bring down, as Slimm detailed. As I said, there's a completeness to him as a prospect that is very attractive. That's not to say he's got elite level overall talent. It just means there aren't many if any glaring holes in his game.

It really IS the pro day and the character stuff weighing him down. And those are significant concerns, particularly if work ethic was an issue with the poor pro day results.
I liked watching the Florida game, not because of his catches and yards, because the guy throwing him the ball will be selling insurance soon, but strictly just focused on watching how he has a plan off the LOS against press, his hands and feet in sync, got moves and deeks..

Getting almost 100 catches with 1400 yards with that qb play should be put in context..
 

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Should be a fun camp story; hopefully he can get his head on straight. Watching clips, there were three or four times he made me rewind after I said “how in the blue **** did he catch that?”
 

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I’ll be happy/surprised if this kid makes the 53 and makes a few plays this year.
 

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What strikes me is the completeness of his game.
It really IS the pro day and the character stuff weighing him down. And those are significant concerns, particularly if work ethic was an issue with the poor pro day results.
I agree that most teams probably viewed the poor pro day results as poor work ethic and lack of dedication to football. Kids got talent he just has to dedicate himself to it. Might be difficult in Miami with all the distractions.
 

Irishfinfan1

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I think the chances of Preston working out with us is quite low, but given his potential have to take the chance. Given at college our 1st round pick asked to be roomed with someone who was getting in trouble to help him it might be he would be the best candidate to room with him. Really what we need to do is everything we can to maximise the chances he works out.
 

Andyman

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What strikes me is the completeness of his game.

He gets off the line of scrimmage well, he cuts well on the run, he was pretty precise with those switch routes and route combinations they run in that offense, showing a lot of awareness of the other receiver and of route depth. He runs his routes with awareness of DB leverage. He was coached by a former NFL wide receiver who is now the WR Coach of the Green Bay Packers. This was not "three-route" stuff like you see with D.K. Metcalf and others. He ran routes he will run in the NFL.

His hands are good. It's not like Ricardo Louis for example, who is always catching the football at the wrist and double clutching everything. I see some drops tallied on his season totals. I've watched 9 of his games and I can't for the life of me think that I've seen anywhere close to 10 drops but OK whatever. His catching technique is good, his eyes are good, and the guy regularly makes plays on the ball in 50/50 situations. Don't know what more you could ask.

I think he's shown his top-end speed on the football field, but he also showed it with his flying twenty at the pro day. That's one thing I don't think the NFL scouts are seeing. He was lasered from the 20 yard split to the 40 yard split in 1.84 seconds. The only guys that did it significantly faster this year are guys you'd expect, like Gary Jennings, Terry McLaurin, Mecole Hardman, Darius Slayton, Parris Campbell, D.K. Metcalf, Emanuel Hall. I mean, duh. The point is only one of those guys runs taller than 6'2" and that guy was pushed up to the top of the draft primarily on the basis of that size/speed combo.

People will try and talk to me about the 10 yard split and I don't care like they do. The track start isn't a football move for a wide receiver in the first place. But the real problem is the track start is subject to misinterpretation by the guy in charge of starting the laser timer, and it's also subject to frivolous technical screw-ups by the player himself. He could end up with a poor time because he lifted his arm up off the ground before he really exploded with his feet, or because he rocked forward before he exploded. Both of those technical mistakes will result in the timer starting too early, adding a tenth or even two-tenths of a second. But notice I haven't described a single thing that actually matters on a football field.

So he's got rare top-end/height combo. He's got good hands. He's been trained on NFL routes and runs them well. He's got natural skills in route running. He gets off the line and off the press. He blocks really well. He transitions beautifully to run after catch and is hard to bring down, as Slimm detailed. As I said, there's a completeness to him as a prospect that is very attractive. That's not to say he's got elite level overall talent. It just means there aren't many if any glaring holes in his game.

It really IS the pro day and the character stuff weighing him down. And those are significant concerns, particularly if work ethic was an issue with the poor pro day results.
Dang CK, you’re on fire. Thanks so much for all this. Really interesting stuff. The one thing I always find difficult is watching tape of a player and distinguishing the play from the competition. A guy may look amazing because of the far-from-elite competition he’s facing. I have to say, in the case of Williams, he just looks so athletic, crisp and tough. I just hope the young man can stay straight to make the most out of his opportunity.
 

ckparrothead

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I agree that most teams probably viewed the poor pro day results as poor work ethic and lack of dedication to football. Kids got talent he just has to dedicate himself to it. Might be difficult in Miami with all the distractions.
I will say this. Every indication is he works extremely hard at football. Every single thing on his Instagram is him working out, working on routes, working on footwork, etc. Testimonials corroborate. That’s probably why he’s in Miami in the first place. They wouldn’t have touched him otherwise.
 

ckparrothead

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There are character concerns where you’re not sure this guy works hard enough or cares enough about football, cares about too many other things, etc. Best example of this is Johnny Manziel.

That’s not Preston Williams, from what we’ve dug up and what we’ve heard.

This is a character concern where a guy has made mistakes and been immature but loves football and works at it.

I won’t pretend to know why a Georgia state champion long jumper and triple jumper woke up one morning and managed to jump poorly at his pro day, or got off to a poor track start on his forty. But his flying twenty verified he’s got the top speed you see on film, and given everything you hear and see about him it’s not a safe assumption that it was for lack of work ethic.
 

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Forgive me but the crowd that seemingly obsesses on measurables while effectively ignoring
production on film are ignoring the fact human beings cannot be precisely quantified by
simplistic formulas that ignore the holistic aspect of the game -- which includes the
intangibles such as the MENTAL aspect of the individual.

Historical reference in these parts = see Zack Thomas.

Beyond that -- the numbers you posted don't offend me at all.
There are character concerns where you’re not sure this guy works hard enough or cares enough about football, cares about too many other things, etc. Best example of this is Johnny Manziel.

That’s not Preston Williams, from what we’ve dug up and what we’ve heard.

This is a character concern where a guy has made mistakes and been immature but loves football and works at it.

I won’t pretend to know why a Georgia state champion long jumper and triple jumper woke up one morning and managed to jump poorly at his pro day, or got off to a poor track start on his forty. But his flying twenty verified he’s got the top speed you see on film, and given everything you hear and see about him it’s not a safe assumption that it was for lack of work ethic.
See that's interesting. I was reading through this thread thinking that a bad pro-day isn't just about having the sub-par measurable, but it's more about demonstrating he didn't care to prepare and keep himself in shape for a good pro-day. It's as much mental as physical.

Now I'm reading he's a committed athlete and physical performer. I guess we will see how it pans out over a 16 game season and over time as a career.

My guess? Hard to imagine off-field and character issues just "going away". Hell, maybe he keep it together "enough" to have a decent career...but I'm going to temper my expectations for this kid and see if he can start to make some impact plays on the field.
 

BigNastyFish

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My guess? Hard to imagine off-field and character issues just "going away". Hell, maybe he keep it together "enough" to have a decent career...but I'm going to temper my expectations for this kid and see if he can start to make some impact plays on the field.
IMO that's pretty much what everyone is going to do -- the difference as I see
it is the disparity of "positivity" regarding this kids intrinsic football talent
and (if things really go right for him) what his Pro upside is.

By the very nature of this thread there's already evidence the kid is creating
some "excitement" and we'll know soon enough if it's justified or just another
*flash* in the pan that evaporates.

Beyond that I don't get the impression this kid is some really bad seed with
irredeemable "character issues." He made a mistake and then compounded
it. There's no reason in the world to believe a kid at 20 or 21 cannot get his
life back on track -- especially if he's (a) motivated and (b) dedicated. I get
that vibe from him -- tho of course it could be bogus.

Bottom line -- I think his contribution to TC and preseason will be very
interesting to watch. I hope he proves to be an absolute steal!
 

ckparrothead

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I've never seen his hands as a weakness.

I think you have to watch the film of him against real talent. You can't really pay too much attention to all those catches, yards and TD's against MWC defensive backs from Air Force and Hawaii that he can just run by due to his talent or blown coverages. You have to watch him matched up against who is in my opinion the top underclassman CB in the 2020 draft. C.J. Henderson of Florida.

Williams was able to be physical and beat the press of Henderson when he was lined up outside and not in the slot. He was able to create separation from Henderson with his route running (sinking his hips) and being physical. He was able to break tackles and physically compete against that caliber of defense with the ball in his hands - forcing the 2nd or 3rd guy there to have to bring him down. The only time I really saw the first tackler bring him down were on reverses (Vosean Joseph, etc.)

Kid could always play.
I thought he won the matchup on Henderson, overall. The ball didn't find him enough and on the right sort of routes to make it more obvious. Henderson traveled all over the field playing Preston in man coverage wherever Williams lined up, including the slot.

Toward the beginning of the game on a 1st & 10, Preston ran an 18 yard back shoulder against C.J. Henderson's soft press, used his hands to create separation at the top of the route, went vertical for the ball, and completed the good looking 21 yard gain. Later on a 3rd & 3, he ran a little 5 yard hitch vs Henderson again in soft shoe press, created the separation and moved the chains.

There was a speed out that probably shouldn't count as it was 2nd & 4 and Henderson gave up a big cushion, had no chance to defend it. Didn't matter because the QB couldn't get the ball there anyway. But what I really liked was that on the following 3rd & 4, Henderson is lined up in press again, and this time he puts a jam on Preston Williams, but Williams chucked him so hard that he had 2 yards of separation for an easy slant pitch and catch, except the QB wasn't looking for him.

There was also a 3rd & 9 where Preston Williams lined up in the slot, ran an out route against Henderson in tight man coverage, and I thought Henderson showed his frustration because he outright shoved Williams to the ground while trailing him from behind. Surprised that didn't draw a flag. The officials may have decided they clipped feet and that was why Preston went to the ground.

I thought there were several vertical routes that ended up with no safety help where Preston Williams either had a clear step on Henderson, or was at the very least even with him. If the ball had found them on those plays, I do wonder what would have happened between the 6'4" receiver with a step versus the 6'0" corner struggling to contain him.

The cherry on top was that Trey Dean came on the field to cover Preston Williams when the score got out of hand. That's a future NFL player, one of the better freshman corners out there. But he was lost trying to cover Preston Williams.

It's too bad this was pretty much the only game where you could see Williams facing corners of any significant amount of talent. I don't think Tyler Horton counts even if he has been invited to camp.
 
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