Maxx Williams: 2015 Ravens Rookie Predictions


Feb 20, 2015; Indianapolis, IN, USA; Minnesota Golden Gophers tight end Maxx Williams catches a pass during the 2015 NFL Combine at Lucas Oil Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Brian Spurlock-USA TODAY Sports

The Baltimore Ravens shocked the world by using not only their first round pick, but also their second round pick on an offensive player in this year’s NFL Draft.  For a franchise with a long history of spending premium draft picks on defense, few saw this bold move coming.

It was a genius combination of filling not only roster needs, but doing so with good value.  Breshad Perriman was the only player left on the Ravens’ board that they considered worthy of a first round pick when they selected him, and second round tight end Maxx Williams could have easily gone in the first.

We have lofty expectations for the size/speed freak that is Breshad Perriman, but can we expect a similarly large impact from Maxx Williams as well?  After all, the hype train has been pretty ridiculous for this guy.  The likes of Mel Kiper are already crowning him as 2015 Offensive Rookie of the Year.

It’s not as crazy as it sounds, but I don’t know if I’d stretch it that far.  Williams stands to get a lot of playing time, at least theoretically.  This is contingent on Dennis Pitta not playing, of course, which is not a given at this point.

It is also contingent on Williams picking up the offense quickly, which is rare for rookie tight ends. Generally, no matter how talented you are, it’s year two before the light goes off.  Just ask Eric Ebron and Austin Seferian-Jenkins.  And maybe even Crockett Gillmore.

Speaking of Gillmore, we would also have to assume that the Ravens are giving up on him as the main guy, or they plan to run the youngsters in some two tight end sets as Gary Kubiak initially envisioned last offseason.

Even though the Ravens have said they are going to retain the general offensive scheme they ran in 2014, will they give that formation another shot as their base?  Or perhaps they will line up three (or four) wide receivers more often. Who really knows at this point?

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So the bottom line is, a lot of chips have to fall into place before we can crown Maxx Williams as the next Jason Witten.  I like the kid a lot and I think he will have a nice career.  But let’s pump the brakes just a little on our expectations.

One more thing to keep in mind – Williams had a total of 61 receptions in college, for 986 yards.  He didn’t surpass 64 yards in a game last season until his final game.  Is that his fault?  No, it just proves that Minnesota didn’t utilize him enough.

But it still means that Williams needs some polish.  He isn’t a great route runner and needs some work as a blocker.  I don’t doubt that he’ll get there, but these things don’t happen overnight.

Having said that, 5-600 yards receiving isn’t out of the question.  And with the red zone chops that Maxx Williams showed in college, he might just grab 5-8 touchdowns as well.  And that would be a pretty nice rookie contribution for any NFL tight end.

Next: Ravens Depth Chart Projections: Tight End

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