In advance of attending the NFL combine in Indianapolis later this month, ESPNBoston.com has identified 10 prospects it wants to learn more about. Along those lines, Steve Muench of Scouts Inc. is helping provide background and insight from his time studying tape and attending all-star games such as the Senior Bowl.
Why he's on the radar: Williams is one of the draft's fastest, most explosive receivers. His ability to threaten the deep third of the field could be the dimension the Patriots are missing.
Projection: Second round
Muench's take: "No FBS player finished the 2012 season with more receiving yards than Williams, who is the eighth-ranked receiver on our board. The biggest reason he doesn’t rank higher is his ball skills. He has smaller hands (8.6 inches) and shorter arms (30.5) for a receiver prospect. More importantly, he traps the ball against his frame and drops passes he should catch. Don’t be misled by the three-year starter’s impressive production and/or experience, either. He isn’t a finished product in terms of his route running. The reason he still projects as a second-round pick is his ability to take the top off the coverage. He’s a quick starter and smooth strider who tracks the ball well and has the frame/body control to win one-on-one downfield. Although he isn’t the most elusive runner, he has the burst to produce after the catch and contribute to the return game."