Player Spotlights

Tyrell Williams Looking for More ‘Wow’ Moments

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To close out last season, undrafted rookie WR Tyrell Williams wowed us by burning CB Aqib Talib and the vaunted Denver defense for a stunning 80-yard touchdown catch, which we hope is a preview of things come in 2016.

The Chargers could certainly use it.

With franchise mainstay Malcom Floyd riding off into the sunset, the Chargers will once again have to address the wide receiver position. Keenan Allen is a star (if he can stay healthy) but Dontrelle Inman has yet to develop into a consistent target and veteran Stevie Johnson could be a cap casualty.

Even if all three projected starters are back and healthy, the Bolts need to find someone who can stretch the field in leu of Floyd. Williams certainly has the size and speed to develop into this threat.

At 6’4″ and running a 4.3 40-yard dash at his Pro Day, Williams is an incredible, Randy Moss-esque talent, but still went undrafted coming out of Western Oregon.

“His senior year he was double-teamed every play so [the opponent] didn’t give up a TD,” Wolves head coach Arne Ferguson told us in an exclusive interview last offseason. “The impact of the game, there’s a lot. But he had double coverage on about 85 percent of the game.”

Williams’ size and athleticism stood out from the first practice of training camp last year. He was one of largest receivers in camp and had a knack for getting upon deep against single coverage. He also beat the third-string corners with regularity in 11-on-11s.

However, Williams struggled with consistently catching passes and running routes, two aspects of his game that went unpolished in college, where he set school records with 165 catches for 2,792 yards and 21 touchdowns. In individual drills, Williams dropped balls more than any other receiver on the roster.

Still, he improved significantly during camp and it showed in the preseason. Williams led all receivers with 10 receptions for 137 yards, along with an incredible touchdown where he took a 7-yard reception all the way to the house, weaving through San Francisco’s defense for a 63-yard touchdown.

“I’m just trying to make an impact on every single play I can,” Williams told us prior to his rookie campaign in another SDBR exclusive interview.

Williams initially made the team after final cuts, but was dropped to the practice squad at the end of September.

He was later re-signed to the active roster due to injuries, but when the wide receiver depth was at its most dire, the Chargers elected to re-sign former castoff Vincent Brown instead of giving Williams an opportunity — a sign that the coaching staff did not believe Williams was ready for prime time.

With very little depth at wide receiver and with Williams being as gifted as he is, the 24-year-old has a good chance to make the team next season. His current competition is the likes of Javontee Herndon and practice squaders Torrence Allen and Isaiah Burse.

Of course, the Bolts will add additional depth at the position, either in the draft or free agency, but Williams should still make the roster, even if it’s at the fifth spot.

Williams will have to show improvement in his route running and technique to get more playing time next season, but if he does, he should get snaps as a deep threat even if he isn’t yet ready to be a full-time starter.

About Trenton Villanueva

A San Diego native, Trenton Villanueva graduated from San Diego State University with a bachelor's degree in Journalism and a minor in the hydraulic principles of the keg. Prior to writing for SDBR, he covered sports news for FanSided and wrote music reviews for the San Diego State Daily Aztec.

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