My thoughts on Terrance Williams after spending time with his college action from Baylor.
2012 vs Texas
2012 vs Iowa State
2012 vs West Virginia
Wt: 208 lbs
Arms: 31 1/4"
Hands: 8 3/4"
Physicality: Williams stands out to me as a physical player. People will point out that he rarely saw press coverage in the Big 12, which is true. However, the college rules allow defensive backs to have their hands on WR's until the ball is in the air. You see DB's taking advantage of this rule vs Williams down the field, but rarely does it affect him as he tracks the ball. He also stands out as a guy who is a willing blocker in the run game. He uses his frame well on defensive backs and is able to move them out of the way. The one exception to this trait is the fact that he isn't a guy who takes on tacklers and fights for extra yards the way you see a guy like Dez Bryant do. He is very willing to go down and move on to the next play.
Body Control: When I watch Williams play I see a guy who sets up DB's well in his route. One nuance of the Art Briles version of the Air Raid Offense is that the outside receivers line up abnormally wide, outside the numbers and very close to the side lines. That is important because many of the plays Williams makes are on vertical routes, this very wide alignment leaves little room for error as far as route running. Williams presses the CB's cushion and works the leverage to give himself space to get open. The other benefit of the wide alignment as an evaluator is you see Williams working on the sideline really often. He has very good awareness of when he's approaching the sideline and how to work his feet to stay in bounds and make the catch. In his big game vs Texas last year, he put stop and go double move on the CB that ate the guy's lunch. He ran a lot of comeback routes, and he sold the comeback very hard, but was quickly back up to speed and absolutely blew by the DB.
Contested Catch: Williams excels at going up and getting the ball at the highest point. He was a consistent target on the fade in the red zone, and on the deep ball down the sideline from the field. One thing I noticed in the games I watched, was that any time the QB got in trouble, the ball almost always came out towards Williams, and more times than not, he made a play. He was absolutely the QB's safety blanket because the confidence was there that if the ball was in the air, Williams would make the play.
Versatility: I saw Williams line up outside, in the slot, in the middle of a trips alignment and on the backside of trips. Showing the ability to get open from all of these alignments gives the Cowboys a lot of flexibility in how they will use him in their 3 wide packages.
Concentration/Drops: I saw multiple plays where the ball hit Williams in the hands, and he failed to make the catch. I may be nitpicking a bit here, but it looked like he was ready to run before securing the ball, especially because on at least one of these plays he had no one near him in coverage.
Limited variation of routes: The vast majority of Williams' catches came either on come back routes or go routes in the field, and on the fade or slant in the red zone. I didn't see him much on the dig route or the deep out. Saw one post route and he was able to get open, but it may take some work for him to have the full route tree.
This is probably the pick that the Cowboys will be most highly praised for. Williams was an extremely productive play maker in college who led all receivers in the country last year with 1,832 receiving yards (and a staggering 18.9 yards per catch). He has ideal size and good enough speed. He gives this team another explosive threat who does well after the catch and makes tough catches. He'll be a great complement to the weapons on this roster and the ones added in the draft this year.