The Arizona Cardinals are in search of a No. 2 wide receiver on the roster to start opposite Larry Fitzgerald. The Cardinals signed Brice Butler to a two-year contract, drafted Christian Kirk in the second round, and have a returning deep threat in J.J. Nelson. All of the talk has been focused around them when it comes to the front runners for the starting job but Chad Williams has a real shot at winning this position battle as well.
Expectations were high for Williams, after he was taken in the third round of the 2017 draft. The hope was for him to be as successful as the third rounders drafted before him in the Steve Keim era such as Tyrann Mathieu, John Brown, and David Johnson. But things did not go as planned. The former rookie out of Grambling State entered last season out of shape, resulting to the Cardinals limiting him to only 98 offensive snaps.
Besides being out of shape, he didn’t have a good understanding of the Cardinals’ playbook either. Nothing was good about his rookie season but he won’t be phased out of the offense. Rookies are expected to have their share of struggles and it isn’t fair to just throw in the towel for a guy that was given very few opportunities to play. Being in the NFL for over a year now, Williams has adjusted to the work flow of the NFL. He is in the best shape of his life and will play a lot faster this upcoming season.
With the struggles of being a rookie behind him, Williams is ready to prove to the Cardinals that he was worth the third round selection. He certainly has a lot going for him on a physical standpoint. The 6’1’’ 204-pound receiver ran a 4.43 40, benched 21 reps, and had a 35.5-inch vertical jump during his Pro Day in 2017. Whether he is a starter or a backup, Williams is expected to have an expanded role on the offense. No one is really talking about him now and he hasn’t proved anything to anyone yet. But don’t be surprised if Williams becomes the breakout player of the year.
Who will win the No. 2 wide receiver job opposite Fitzgerald?
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