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- Position: Tight End/Flex End (TE/FE)
- Class: Sophomore (redshirt)
- College: Minnesota
- Ht/Wt: 6'4", 250 pounds
Maxx Williams is an unpolished tight end with some great physical traits. In only his second season as a starter, Williams was the top target in Minnesota's passing offense, leading the team in receptions, receiving yards, and touchdowns. Williams has outstanding body control and an excellent catch radius, especially given his average size for a tight end. He has the knack for making highlight-reel plays, including tip-toeing sideline grabs and hurdled defenders on runs after the catch. He's physical with the ball in his hands.
I'm skeptical about his overall athleticism; I think he's definitely above-average across the board, but it wouldn't surprise me if he puts up numbers at the Combine similar to Jace Amaro's last year, which were good, but not elite. He definitely has the speed to stretch the seam and to threaten a defense from the slot.
Williams is really undeveloped in blocking ability, despite playing in a run-heavy offense. He was basically unused as a pass protector because he was so often running routes on pass plays. He latches on well with his blocks, but he doesn't have good core power and hasn't figured out how to finish his blocks yet. Williams ran a pretty full route tree at Minnesota, and is effective with his route running - he even lined up wide on a few plays each game.
Williams is an intriguing prospect because he is capable of some things that other players just can't do. He flashes elite ability at the catch point, and has the seam-stretching athleticism to be a dangerous receiving threat at the position. He's also only 21 years old and could probably build up his frame further, potentially becoming one of the top tight ends in the league. However, you can't just dream on potential with prospects; you also need to consider what they can do immediately. Right now, Williams doesn't seem ready to start in the NFL. He's just too one-dimensional, and the last pair of outstanding receiving tight ends to enter the NFL (Eric Ebron and Amaro) amassed fewer than 600 yards receiving combined in their rookie seasons.
In a weak tight end class, I can understand Williams' wanting to enter the draft early rather than return to a weak Minnesota offense. But I don't know if I can get behind his underdeveloped blocking and young age, especially for a Bills team that is looking to come together in the next year or two for an extended playoff push. Williams looks like he's a second- or third-round type player for me right now.