For years, the name synonymous with the Arizona Cardinals’ wide receiver corps has been Larry Fitzgerald. That is still the case as we head into the 2018 NFL season, but for 2019 and beyond, a seismic shift is on the horizon. Fitzgerald will consider retirement after this year, as he currently stands 91 catches behind Tony Gonzalez for second place on the NFL all-time reception leaderboard. Fitzgerald’s Target Share sits at 27.2-percent, and the Cardinals may have suitable successors already on their team. Most notable is Christian Kirk, Arizona’s 2018 second-round pick from Texas A&M, but advanced stats, metrics and analytics player profiles indicate that the team has stockpiled more than just one young, dynamic pass catcher.
Chad Williams, selected 98th overall by the Cardinals in the 2017 NFL Draft, is an intriguing prospect with talent that jumps off the page. If it was not for off-the-field character concerns, the wideout from Grambling State University would have been an early day two draft pick. Looking at his player profile, the most notable metric is his Sparq-x Score, in which he scored 137.1 (99th-percentile). The other metrics are nothing to balk at either. His Speed Score, Burst Score, and Catch Radius are all 75th-percentile or better. Only his Agility Score is sub-optimal, and even then, he grades out as perfectly average in the 50th-percentile.
Williams manhandled college defensive backs while at Grambling, posting a 37.4-percent College Dominator Rating (74th-percentile). Come 2019, he will have two years of NFL life experience. “Life” is the operative word here. That’s two years of experience with NFL training staffs, workout regimens, schedules and lifestyle – all of which take getting used to for young athletes. Cynics will say the heir-apparent is Brice Butler instead, but Butler will be 29 years old as the 2019 season kicks off and the tape from his days in Dallas suggests he offers nothing opposing defensive backs cannot handle.
Check out Chad Williams on PlayerProfiler’s “World Famous” Draft Kit:
Although his game volume projects to be low in 2018, Williams will have an increased Snap Share from 2017 and will enter 2019 as a polished prospect with a chip on his shoulder. Williams will only be 24 as the 2018 NFL season gets underway, making him an excellent late-round target in your 2018 dynasty startup drafts. He barely cracks ESPN analyst Mike Clay’s top-240 Dynasty Prospects at No. 226, making him essentially free and the perfect candidate for a Christian Kirk arbitrage play. Scoop him up at the end of your drafts and stash him away like the chunk of gold he is.