The Denver Broncos have added some wide receiver depth in the 2021 NFL Draft. The team spent a sixth round pick on Seth Williams, drafting the Auburn product with the No. 219 overall pick.
Once one of the top recruits in the nation, Williams needed little time to become a fixture in the Auburn offense. In his debut season with the program, he tied for the lead in touchdown catches (five) and finished just behind Ryan Davis for the second-most receiving yards (534). Williams never came in second again, leading the Tigers in both categories each of the next two years. He finished his collegiate career with 132 receptions for 2,124 yards and 17 touchdowns.
At 6-foot-3 and 211 pounds, Williams cuts the figure of a dominant boundary receiver at the NFL level. His length becomes especially useful in the red zone where he routinely bullied smaller defenders in jump-ball situations. Williams also can get behind defenders when he gets clean releases off the line, a factor that contributed to his career 16.1 yards-per-catch average.
However, Williams lacks the movement skills to keep pace in a loaded receiver class. While he ran a respectable 4.49-second 40-yard dash at Auburn’s pro day and delivered a 37-inch vertical, he didn’t demonstrate the short-area quickness to match (1.63-second 10-yard split, 7.2-second three-cone drill, 4.43-second short shuttle). Those scores highlight Williams’ inability to consistently separate from defenders, an area that rarely improves after players arrive in the NFL. While the league has space for lengthy wideouts who thrive in the red zone, Williams needs to expand his repertoire in order to carve out a long-term role.
Like any rookie wideout, Williams can expect to see more press coverage in the NFL than he saw in college. That alone has the potential to limit him to deep reserve and special-teams duty as he learns how to handle defenders at the next level. While the right team could deploy him in the red zone this season, that too could take some time to develop.
Williams probably has a lower ceiling than the other wideouts competing to come off the board late on Day 2 or early on Day 3, and he also appears to lack a high floor. Such makes him difficult to project, but jump-ball receivers with good size have managed to forge nice careers before. If Williams can learn to better handle press coverage, he can significantly open up his game and become a featured receiver in the style of Philadelphia Eagles-era Alshon Jeffery. In such a scenario, he could become a low-end WR2 or flex option.