The Arizona Cardinals made an investment in a talented small school wide receiver for the third time in four years in 2017.
Chad Williams, the dynamic Grambling State wide receiver was taken with the Cardinals 98th overall selection.
In a relatively common occurrence under then head coach Bruce Arians, Williams would spend 99% of his season sitting on the bench, learning the offense and watching his teammates struggle to help Larry Fitzgerald do much of anything.
Williams posted numbers more like an undrafted free agent getting a spot start than a third round pick: 7 targets, 3 receptions, 31 yards, 2 carries, 33 yards and no touchdowns as a rookie.
When you put that into context, over the last decade, players drafted between round two and three who had that number of targets or less, was 15. That’s it.
The number of players who caught 30 or more passes their second season from that group, four: Mario Mannigham, Armanti Edwards, Jason Hill and Earl Bennett.
Only Manningham and Bennett would have successful NFL careers as wide receivers.
That’s what Chad Williams will have to overcome in his second NFL season. A history of flops.
Williams has never lacked for talent, his athletic profile and his play with the ball in his hands is special.
The question becomes can he turn a season of learning into success on the field.
It will be an uphill battle, can Williams win it?