Vikings: Seth Williams should be WR target in 2021 NFL Draft

Auburn wide receiver Seth Williams (18) attempts to hurdle Florida defensive back Jeawon Taylor (29) at Ben Hill Griffin Stadium in Gainesville, Fla., on Saturday, Oct. 5, 2019. Florida defeated Auburn 24-13.Jc Auburnflorida 58
Auburn wide receiver Seth Williams (18) attempts to hurdle Florida defensive back Jeawon Taylor (29) at Ben Hill Griffin Stadium in Gainesville, Fla., on Saturday, Oct. 5, 2019. Florida defeated Auburn 24-13.Jc Auburnflorida 58 /

Seth Williams came into Auburn with all kinds of fun hype. However, he ended up dealing with the implosion of Gus Malzhan and watching Bo Nix struggle to figure out what a quarterback is. Through 33 games over three seasons, Williams hauled in a total of 132 receptions for 2,124 yards and 17 touchdowns. Which is a decent stat line for a wide receiver in the SEC on a struggling offense. He is a fit with the Minnesota Vikings as the 2021 NFL Draft approaches.

His pro-day numbers did help his stock quite a bit coming in at 6-foot-3 and 211 pounds. Matching it with freak athletic numbers with a 4.5 40-yard and coming in second at the broad jump and verticle.

If Williams ends up in a better college environment, he could be in the talks for a top-five wide receiver in this class. His mix of size and athletic ability make him a solid weapon anywhere on the field. While his top-end speed may limit him in the slot, he projects as a good outside weapon. Williams will be a must-have in the red zone or any jump ball style passing play.

Vikings could be in the market for a bigger pass catcher

Do not be surprised if Williams ends up the best red zone wide receiver in this draft.

The Vikings would love to get Williams late in the draft. It would allow either Justin Jefferson or Adam Thielen to take over the slot, and still give them a red zone threat at the same time. Williams will be their easy go-to guy in the red zone, and he is a massive target.

This will force the defense in any situation where it’s a jump ball to focus on him with his size and strength, giving Justin Jefferson or Adam Thielen an easier time to get open. Adding this weapon to an already potent offense could make it one of the more difficult ones to stop in the league. After their top two receivers, the Vikings have little to no depth at the position.

If they end up taking a quarterback in the first the set of Mac Jones/Justin Fields, Dalvin Cook, Justin Jefferson, Williams, and Irv Smith will make for a solid few years at bargain prices.

Seth Williams size gives him one of the biggest upsides for Vikings

Williams’ best attribute is his size it’s hard to stop a wide receiver who tall enough to jump through a goal post, and big enough to stiff-arm you into a coma. He also has elite hands, when he wants to catch the ball it’s his, and with his catch radius that makes him dangerous. Williams rarely loses a 50/50 ball situation, and with his back to the sideline, he can be extremely dangerous.

For his size, he has a really good smooth route tree and should not have issues being able to run any route at the next level.

With one of the better catching abilities in the class, he does not wait for it to come to his body. Rarely finds his hands out of position and understands where to go next with the football. Having his size he is great in traffic and over the middle for the tougher catches some of the smaller receivers cant do well. Corners are getting bigger and so are safties so having one of the tallest players on the field, with a long reach and jump is massive.

I like his aggressiveness in the position and his confidence that anything near him, is his ball.

Having a polished route tree should help to overcome his struggles early learning that he can not outrun everyone at the next level. It will also give him the ability to be used in many different situations. More often than not I would expect defenses have to game plan for what he can do as the situations change, look for defenses to plan for matchups based on down-and-distance.

Despite the positives, there are reasons he is not going earlier, what are they?

Williams lacks top-end speed which will limit where he will go in this draft. If a team needs speed, he is unlikely to be high on their draft board. I have seen Williams a lot over the years, and I have concerns about his mental ability when it comes to catches. He can have very easy drops, due to just concentrating the ball into his hands, and relying on his natural ability.

He will need to get more focused on the position, and key in on learning the nuances of the position, and not rely on his physical ability.

Williams lacks the overall speed and current hands to end up as an elite receiver at the next level, I don’t think losing weight to get faster will help either of those. However, there is nothing wrong with being just a really good receiver or a solid number two option. His versatility will be limited, as I would never expect to see him in the slot on most offenses at the next level.

There is not a lot he can offer on special teams either.

So when drafting him you have to understand what he can and can not do, and also what he will never be able to do. He will struggle with press coverage early on in his career as he learns to adjust, and if he is knocked off his route early with little make-up speed he will most likely be out of the play.

Tony Pauline of Pro Football Network gives his strengths to Williams’ game:

"“Nice-sized possession receiver who comes away with some incredibly athletic catches. Fluid releasing off the line of scrimmage, quick for a bigger receiver, and tracks the pass in the air. Adjusts to the errant throw, grabs the ball from the air, and possesses strong hands. Uses his hands to separate from defenders and makes the difficult catch with opponents draped on him. Effective downfield blocker.”"

Due to his size, I wouldn’t expect him to be motioned a lot around the field, as the defense will know what his limitations are. In the red zone if he continues to have mental lapses, and drops easy balls he could find his way down on the depth chart early. Williams fits well with the Vikings fourth-round pick 119 overall. They have two picks in the fourth round 119 and 125. He could go with either of those picks.