2016 NFL Draft Player Profiles: East Carolina TE Bryce Williams

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As you should know by now, our attention has now shifted to the 2016 NFL Draft as it relates to the prospects. From now until the draft takes place, we hope to profile as many draft prospects as we possibly can for you. Most of these player profiles will be centered around prospects the Pittsburgh Steelers are likely to have interest in.

Looking at tight end Bryce Williams in another prospect profile today.

#80 – Bryce Williams/TE East Carolina: 6’5/7 260

The Good

– Obviously imposing size and knows how to use it to his advantage, long arms and big hands (33 1/4, 9 5/8 respectively)
– Tough, physical player, and a difficult player to drag down after the catch
– Will show soft hands and the ability to pluck the ball away from his body
– Versatile, lined up everywhere on the field, asked to do a lot in that offense and speaks to his football intelligence
– Smart player who understands man/zone rules as a receiver
– Down to Earth guy to talk to, likeable personality, a humble individual
– Not a proficient blocker but gives effort and has room to be refined and become better
– Productive senior season, came on strong with the opportunity

The Bad

– Slow, lethargic runner in basically all of his motions, straight-line or change of direction
– Build up speed player, lacks explosion out of a three-point stance, and top speed isn’t very good
– Struggles mightily to change direction, far from a natural separator and will have to resort to winning with his size, boxing out smaller players, than creating actual space
– Lapses of concentration, struggled in Senior Bowl practice catching the ball cleanly, too many drops
– Needs refinement as a run blocker, drops eye level on contact and will fall off blocks
– More explosive off his right foot than his left foot
– Only one year as full-time starter

Bio

– 18 career starts, 2015 only year as full-time starter
– 2015: 58 catches, 588 yards, 4 TDs
– Prior to 2015: 38 catches, 447 yards, 9 TDs
– Three-star athlete in high school, basketball and an accomplished hurdler with at least one trip to states
– Cousin is Brooks Williams, NFL tight end in late 70s/early 80s, most notable time came with New Orleans Saints
– Transferred from Marshall for a better opportunity to see playing time

Tape Breakdown

Williams was a great guy to talk to at the Senior Bowl. Your old-school, “yes sir, no sir” personality that teams will love. Humble, thoughtful, and able to genuinely evaluate himself, he’ll earn high marks for the way he presents himself.

The eyeball test and tape match up. A big guy who isn’t easy to bring down. Watch him just drag Florida defenders to move the sticks. About five yards of YAC because of his build.

Traffic doesn’t bother him. Extends his hands away from his body with three defenders around him, and holds onto the ball despite the defender attempting to punch the ball out.

But his most glaring negative is a dealbreaker for him. Rarely can I get on board with a receiver who lacks the ability to separate. And Williams just can’t do it. Doesn’t have the straight-line speed and has trouble sinking his hips and separating at the top of his route.

At the bottom of your screen, he telegraphs this slant. No explosion at the top, no head fake, eyes on his landmark. All flashing lights to where he’s going.

This looks like a speed out, so don’t knock him for not breaking down like a regular out, but again, he fails to sell it with any conviction. Eyes to his spot and the corner reads it, jumping the route, and housing it. Critical play that helped lead the Gators to victory, 31-24.

Some little things as a run blocker to work on too. His strength and drive is just ok and he drops his eyes, leading him to fall off blocks.

Watch him on this split zone. Head down on contact and he isn’t able to make a solid block, falling off the linebacker.

He struggled at the Senior Bowl, dealing with too many drops in practice. Some of them were easy too, even in the rare moment he was able to separate. The game did go a little better for him but overall, I bet Williams would be the first to acknowledge it wasn’t the ideal showing.

Like I mentioned, I just don’t think Williams is a guy who is going to be able to create space at the next level and his size isn’t enough to get by at the NFL level. At best, if he evolves into a good blocker, he’ll be Brandon Pettigrew/Scott Chandler. But he could just become another Lee Smith, a forgotten about player in the NFL today who just couldn’t overcome his athleticism limitations. Not someone I’d like the Steelers to be interested in.

Projected Round: Late 6th-Early 7th

Games Watched: at Florida, vs Temple, Senior Bowl

Previous Player Profiles
Hunter HenryEli AppleLaquon TreadwellDadi NicolasKendall Fuller
Deion JonesJihad WardKevin PetersonVonn BellMichael Caputo
Andrew BillingsMackensie AlexanderTyler ErvinAustin BlytheChris Jones
Sheldon RankinsNoah SpenceJordan JenkinsYannick NgakoueDarian Thompson

About the Author

Alex Kozora

Full-time blogger from mom’s basement. Marrying tape and statistics. Chidi Iwuoma is my favorite Steeler of all-time.

  • The Notorious TOM

    Lee Smith is such a stud FA in Madden, js.

  • PittsburghSports

    I was excited too see him in the Senior Bowl, and yeah I agree. He stunk. Oh well. Can’t imagine we’ll bring in a TE that’s not either a top 4 draft pick, or camp fodder.

  • WreckIess

    Please no. I’m sick of seeing all these slow TEs in Pittsburgh.

  • James Cowan

    I can. Presumably Heath and Speath are gone next year. So even if the Outlaw is a legit number one we’ll need two or three for the roster.

  • PittsburghSports

    Yeah but what I’m saying is a TE is not worth one of our 7th rd picks, and we don’t have a 5th or 6th. A top 4 pick probably has a chance to beat out Spaeth, but that’s it. Only other TE I could see us bringing in would just be guys to fill out the camp roster. Still have Blanchflower and Grimble too.

  • Ike Evans

    Lol i was reading the article thinkin “this guy sounds like Brandon Pettigrew” in my head…then you made the comparison at the bottom……nice eval kozora

  • James Cowan

    Ahh I misread your comment. Sorry man.

  • Michelob

    I’d take Pitt Panther TE and Shaler native J.P. Holtz over Williams. All around steady TE, 4 year starter w/ ~1,000 yards and 11 TDs in career that is likely available undrafted. If you do a draft profile of Holtz you could throw in a gif of him knocking Shamarko out cold in his freshman year.

  • LucasY59

    I think Blanchflower (if he can stay healthy) is enough for them at TE this yr.
    (other than camp bodies, maybe Williams is undrafted and can be one of those bodies?) The only thing Williams has going for him is good size, but so did Cameron Clear…

    Next yr Spaeth is gone and Outlaw should be able to fill his spot, Heath might get another 2-3 yr contract (but might also be a yr at a time signing, Heath might even get an Extension this offseason, to lower his cap hit) I think TE is a good position to target early next Draft

    this yrs Draft doesnt have much in it for TEs so the Investment isnt that good, the few good ones have their value inflated and are reaches. next yr they will hopefully have the luxury of being able to take a TE early regardless of if it is a reach (but also might be forced into taking one, because of the need to get a good young TE to help when Heath retires)

  • Tom Jackson

    I don’t think we need a TE in the draft this season other then maybe a potential Heath replacement. Guys I’m looking to there would be Hunter Henry or Jerell Adams.

  • Tom Jackson

    Seriously I thought the exact same thing going through the good and bad stuff at the top. Lol

  • igloojoe

    Really hope we sign him, loved what I saw on tape.