Before we even get started, you need to spend four minutes watching Terrance Williams abuse and embarrass Texas corner Quandre Diggs. 10 catches for 180 yards doesn't even tell the story.
Dez Bryant and Miles Austin combine to be one of the most potent wide receiver combinations in the NFL. However each has had injury and durability concerns. The #3 wide receiver position has been a topic of discussion for me since the 2011 season. The Cowboys needed to add someone to the depth chart that could either play the slot and move Austin outside or the other way around.
Dwayne Harris wasn't ready in his rookie season and he struggled to find a home in the Dallas offense. Laurent Robinson became an instant success with Tony Romo and it looked like the Cowboys had finally found the perfect compliment. Unfortunately, the Cowboys front office chose not to come up with enough money to re-sign Robinson and he left for Jacksonville in free agency.
Last season we saw Kevin Ogletree breakout in Week ... then go from a hero to a goat. Ogletree's inconsistency was one of the reasons this offense struggled to find a rhythm. Harris did emerge, but the Cowboys still lacked a receiver who could fill in on the outside and fill if an injury were to occur.
With the pick they acquired from the San Francisco 49ers, the Cowboys used the 74th overall pick to draft Baylor wide receiver Terrance Williams. This pick finally makes the Dallas wide receiver depth chart a position of real strength. I had Williams ranked 64th overall.
Sometimes, a pick just "feels right", and here are a few nuggets that suggest the Cowboys landed a steal with the Baylor product.
Football Outsiders has one of the most interesting breakdowns that I have ever seen on a potential draft pick. In the article, Matt Waldman illustrates the development that Williams made at Baylor and he diagnoses WIlliams' ability to run routes, beat coverage, come back and fight for the football and make a great catch.
With prototypical height and weight, the ability to catch the ball with his hands, and big-play ability in the vertical passing game and as an open-field runner, Williams is already considered one of the better wide receiver prospects in this draft class. But Williams' development is an encouraging sign for the team that selects him in April.
Baylor passing coordinator Kendal Briles pointed out an ability of Williams' that Tony Romo is going to love.
"He’s got a great knack to get open," Briles said. "He’s a quarterback’s friend. Somehow and someway, Terrance is going to get open and find a way to come down with the ball. He has a great knack for playing receiver and knowing the position. He makes my job coaching pretty easy. I just put him on the field and watch him work. I think that part of him is similar to the way Jerry Rice played the game."
He won't be Jerry Rice, but the description of Williams above is absolutely what this offense needs in their wide receivers. Romo can extend plays, and Williams' ability to get open and keep the route going is going to be a perfect fit for both parties involved.
Dane Brugler of CBS Sports wrote a very promising write up of Williams in his detailed scouting report, which I highly recommend to add to your post-draft reading list.
STRENGTHS: Williams looks the part with a lengthy frame and vertical speed to create separation downfield, showing excellent footwork along the sideline. Has some creative ability to make something happen with the ball in his hands. Gliding athlete with smooth acceleration and long-striding speed. Good body control and balance for his size with smooth transitions and movements.
Tracks the ball well downfield and can gain a step with an extra gear to be a legitimate vertical threat. Good focus and reach. Not a burner but catches the ball in stride and has the flexibility to make tough catches. Strong plant foot in his routes to gain inside position and immediately looks upfield after the catch. Works back to the pocket and has good field awareness.
Compares To: Torrey Smith, WR, Ravens - Williams doesn't have the same top-shelf speed as Smith, but he is a similar vertical threat, stretching the field and using his length to finish downfield. Neither is the most polished route-runner, but they play tough and physical when needed.
If Williams is even half of what Torrey Smith has become, then the Cowboys are in great shape. This is the type of pick that should excite the fan base, the Cowboys landed a playmaker that is only going to improve. I would be shocked to see Williams flame out in the NFL. He's big, strong, fast and he's a better route runner than he's getting credit for. He produced in a big way in college, even after Robert Griffin III left for the NFL. This is the type of wide receiver the Cowboys scout for and go after.
Better yet, he's a great young man with high character and he wanted to play here. Williams is a Texas native that played his high school ball in Dallas.
"The Cowboys were my favorite team, and I still like them to this day," Williams said. "There wouldn’t be a team that I’d rather play for."
I will leave you with one last quote on Williams, the Cowboys were targeting and had their eye on Williams for a while. It's not surprising, considering they labeled Josh Gordon with a third-round grade last year.
Garrett to Terrance: "We've been eyeballing you all day long... Had great visit with Coach Briles about you ... We're excited to have you."— Armen Williams (@ArmenWilliams) April 27, 2013
The front office consulted Tony Romo about Terrance and had him watch tape to get his opinion. If it included this cut-up of going for 314 yards and two scores against West Virginia... well... yeah.