UCF: Marlon Williams
With the 112th pick in the 2021 NFL Draft, the Detroit Lions select receiver Marlon Williams from UCF.
It’s no secret that the Detroit Lions receiving corps will be getting an overhaul heading into the 2021 regular season. Leave it to former GM Bob Quinn to have the entire receiving room essentially become free agents all at once, aside from rookie Quintez Cephus. Detroit will also see Geronimo Allison’s return, who opted out of the 2020 season due to the coronavirus pandemic.
At this point, I don’t expect Cephus to emerge as a number one-type pass catcher at the NFL level. To me, he appears more like a WR3, which is fine, especially for a fifth-round pick. Allison may become a candidate to be released.
That being said, here we are in the fourth round, taking a flier on another talented pass-catcher. Williams is a 6-foot-0, 215-pound outside receiver. Williams spent four seasons with UCF but really started to excel in year three, but burst onto the scene as a senior this past season.
Williams recorded 71 catches totaling 1,037 yards and totaled 10 touchdowns this past season through just eight games.
This from The Draft Network;
"Thick, stocky frame. Has tremendous hands and he regularly snatches the football with extended arms away from his frame. Comes down with acrobatic receptions in contested situations, showcasing tremendous focus and competitive toughness. Can climb the ladder to high point the football and does well to establish his frame at the catch point. Extremely productive working after the catch. His physicality, size, toughness and burst leads to considerable yards post-catch. Has excellent contact balance as a ball carrier and he’s a load for defensive backs to get on the ground. Has experience as a punt and kick returner."
The Detroit Lions are expected to part ways with Marvin Jones, Danny Amendola, Mohamed Sanu. There is what feels like a 50/50 chance star receiver Kenny Golladay will be playing elsewhere in 2021 unless the organization uses the franchise tag or can agree on a long-term lucrative deal.
The same can be said for return specialist Jamal Agnew. Not the franchise tag, of course, but will the new regime be able to come to terms on a new deal from the electric Agnew, or will he be seeking employment elsewhere?
Williams is a tremendous talent, and someone Detroit needs to target. PFF rewarded the dynamic receiver with an enormous 87.4 overall grade in 2020, making him the 9th best pass-catcher coming out. Will organizations agree? If so, he likely won’t be there at 112, but in this mock draft, he was, and we selected him for Detroit.
Pro Football Focus Draft Grade: B+