Formerly an undrafted player, Tyrell Williams now finds himself a free agent with a couple good seasons under his belt with the Los Angeles Chargers. Although down the stretch in 2018 he lost his #2 wide receiver spot to Mike Williams, he still had a decent season and should be a good option for anyone looking for a deep speed threat at wide receiver.
2019 NFL Free Agent: Tyrell Williams
Williams finished the 2018 season with 41 catches for 653 yards and five touchdowns. In all actuality, most of his games were relatively pedestrian, with two massive games close to midway through the season that helped him re-establish himself after a disappointing 2017 season. Generally, his strength was the long pass, as he hauled in three touchdown passes that were 40 yards or longer.
In four years with the Chargers (noting that he only had two catches during his rookie year) he has had 155 catches for 2,530 yards and 17 touchdowns. He had a 1,000-yard season in 2016 when Keenan Allen missed almost the whole season. Williams’ biggest flaw as shown over the last two years is that he may be a little bit of a one-trick pony; his main strength is pulling in long passes as a speed threat. Anyone who’s looking for such a player to feature in their offense will want to give Williams a look for sure, however.
It seems fairly unlikely that Williams will be returning to the Chargers, as he seems to want a bigger role and even thinks of himself as a #1 receiver. In contrast, he would be third on the receiving depth chart behind Keenan Allen and Mike Williams with the Chargers. And given his requested higher role, he may not accept what the Chargers would likely be offering him.
While it doesn’t feel right now like Williams is a #1 receiver, one of the best fits for him where he could potentially become that is the Buffalo Bills. They have a quarterback in Josh Allen that does like to throw deep (even though he still needs to work on his accuracy). And aside from Robert Foster, they don’t have a lot at the receiver position. Williams could potentially carve himself a heavy chunk of looks in that offense. There’s also the Carolina Panthers, where he could perhaps play the role that Ted Ginn played in the past.
There are more fits available for him if he’s willing to be a #2 receiver. One such spot that comes to mind is the Indianapolis Colts, where they rotated a lot of people in and out besides T.Y. Hilton and still succeeded. Williams could become a more consistent threat there and be another deep threat not unlike Hilton in a pass-first offense.
If Williams holds himself to looking for a large-volume role, he may find that there are fewer options available. There are plenty of teams that wouldn’t mind having a good deep threat, but if he’s looking for a heavier reception share in general, that may prove harder as he just hasn’t shown since his breakout 2016 season that he can do a whole lot more than bring down long passes. On the other hand, he is only 26 and still in the youth of his career. Someone could still end up making him a big part of their offense.
It’s not impossible that Williams could return to the Chargers, but if he’s looking for a bigger role and possibly more money, it is quite unlikely. Given the kind of role that he’s looking for, the Bills, Panthers, and Colts may be the best fits. If he reins himself in a little bit, he might find his options open up. He could definitely flourish in the right offense, regardless of whether he’s a main option or a role player.
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