Day 2 of the NFL Draft started with a trade up for the Arizona Cardinals and finished with a trade down for the Arizona Cardinals, eventually adding speedy Grambling State receiver Chad Williams in the closing stages of the 2017 NFL Draft 3rd round.
With them having traded up for Budda Baker earlier in the evening, the Cardinals were able to recoup one of the lost 4th round selections by trading down 21 places with the Carolina Panthers – once again seemingly passing on the opportunity to draft a passer of the future.
The Cardinals have had some tremendous draft selections in the third round of the NFL Draft – the likes of Tyrann Mathieu, John Brown and the league’s best running back David Johnson amongst those they have drafted in the 3rd round of the Draft process.
So, Chad Williams…no pressure about living up to those names, right?
A 6’1”, 204lbs, he’ll automatically be seen as one of the ‘bigger receivers’ in the Arizona Cardinals roster and his 4.37 speed (as showcased at the Grambling State Pro Day) is something that will surely appeal to the deep-ball loving Bruce Arians when it comes to offensive game-planning.
He has a lot to like on the football field; setting SWAC-leading numbers with 90 catches for 1,337 yards and 11 touchdowns in 2016 – including an impressive 13 catches for 152 yards on Arizona during the season – earning himself a second-team FCS nod and 1st team all-conference.
However off the field is where there were some concerns. During the off-season heading into his Senior season with Grambling State, Williams was charged with marijuana possession and possession of a firearm after they were found by LSU campus police in a car he was sat in. Perhaps not the smartest of things to do and it was probably one of the reasons he wasn’t invited to the NFL Combine.
However, he impressed enough during the NFLPA Collegiate Bowl to earn a late call-up to the off-season Senior Bowl where he again impressed scouts and NFL Network Draft experts Daniel Jeremiah and Mike Mayock, who both raved about his ability to play at the next level.
Alas, the Arizona Cardinals must have done their homework on the guy and feel that he is capable of coming in and getting on with the job from Day 1. Given his size, there’s a chance he could get thrown straight into the action when the season rolls around in a few months time.
Have the Cardinals unearthed another gem in Round 3? We will find out sooner rather than later.