Bills top 20 talents: No. 15 - Mike Williams
The Buffalo Bills went out in the offseason eager to add pieces around quarterback EJ Manuel in an effort to help him make the next step forward in his progress. They drafted the best receiver available by trading a future first-round selection, and, they acquired another wideout with past success but one that fell out of favor with his first club.
That man, who is both a Buffalo native and has once carried a lot of buzz with his name, comes in as the number 15 most talented Bills player. The criteria for the countdown is a mix of overall raw skill level, on the field performances as well as a certain projection aspect to it. Having a solid blend of all three, once again the list goes to the offensive side of the ball with this player:
WR Mike Williams
Age: 27 (5/18/87)
Why he's here:
- Williams burst on to the scene in his rookie season in Tampa Bay, meshing with Josh Freeman well enough to earn him 65 receptions for 964 yards and a whopping 11 touchdowns in his opening year. He followed that up with two more productive seasons in the 60-catch range, showing he could be a big target for the Buccaneers moving forward. Despite his height, Williams is a red-zone threat and someone that was depended on once close enough to the red zone. While he isn't necessarily the quickest, his ability to play outside the numbers and high point the ball is something the Bills haven't had. His off-the-field antics got him into some hot water, and ultimately got him traded away from the very team that was so impressed by him early on.
- Essentially on a one-year pact to stay on his best behavior and follow team protocol, the Bills can walk away from Williams if he doesn't hold up that end of the bargain or if he fails to make the type of impact they believe he can. The role for Williams still must be defined, but on paper he figures to come in on three wide receiver sets as one of the outside players, allowing either Sammy Watkins or Robert Woods to be able to play the slot. If he can provide a red zone presence it will go miles for EJ Manuel's progress. But since his role will likely be limited to that barring an injury, he falls a bit shorter than others on the list despite his raw skills and prior success.
Bills Top 20 Talents
20) TE Scott Chandler
19) CB Leodis McKelvin
18) QB EJ Manuel
17) DE Manny Lawson
16) LB Brandon Spikes
15) WR Mike Williams
14) ??? - Thursday, July 10 - 8 am
**Photo courtesy of The AP