Dynasty Draft Profile: Kasen Williams
March 4, 2015 | Chad Scott
We’re pacing ourselves as we sit down and evaluate the future prospects and potential cornerstones of your dynasty teams. Rich and I are talking a new prospect each weekday for your toilet
time viewing pleasures. Pull up some porcelain and let’s dig a bit deeper into this class.
University of Washington’s Kasen Williams isn’t a name being talked or tweeted about around the dynasty water coolers, but should he be?
High School Achievements (per gohuskies.com):
Named the Parade All-America National Player of the Year, the first player from Washington ever so honored … named MaxPrep.com’s National Athlete of the Year (all sports) for 2010-11 … also named a first-team All-American by USA Today, ESPN and MaxPreps.com … the state’s player of the year (all levels), according to the Associated Press … Gatorade State Football Player of the Year in 2010.
Coming off a solid freshman year (36-427-6), Williams burst onto the devy scene during his sophomore season in 2012, totaling 77 receptions (#4 in Pac-12), 878 yards (#6) and 6 touchdowns (#9) – earning All-Pac-12 Honorable Mention.
Unfortunately, Williams suffered a Lisfranc injury during his junior season causing him to miss the final six games of 2013.
Slow to heal, Williams looked like a shell of his former self his senior year, resulting in a disappointing line of 20-189-2, despite playing in all 14 games. Williams told stack.com:
“Most Lisfranc injuries, you dislocate your fourth and fifth metatarsal. I dislocated all of mine and broke my fibula as well.”
Sounds fun and not excruciating at all… if you’re not familiar with the dreaded Lisfranc injury, one of our podcast guests, Scott Peak of DynastyLeagueFootball.com, wrote an article to educate us. Doctors, man…
We talk about production being an important aspect of evaluation for obvious reasons. Ideally, you want to see progression from one year to the next – whether it be in the box score or film room. You won’t see that in either when examining Williams.
He was never the same after suffering the foot injury and that shows up on tape and in the box scores. Yet, I’m still intrigued. (Writer’s Note: I remain a homer. Always.)
Williams was invited to play in the East-West Shrine game and Dane Brugler (NFLDraftScout.com) had this to say about the once coveted prospect:
“During Wednesday’s practice, Williams made a number of acrobatic catches, showing off his athleticism, body control and natural ball skills to track the ball and go and get it. He accelerates smoothly off the line of scrimmage and doesn’t need to slow down in his breaks, shifting gears very easily to get downfield. However, Williams has struggled with the details of the position, including his route running and body language both pre and post snap. He will require a patient coaching staff, but Williams could end up being a steal in the later rounds after a year or two of NFL seasoning.”
My intrigue remained despite posting a pedestrian line of two receptions for just six yards during the East-West Shrine game.
Williams wasn’t invited to this year’s NFL combine, but is scheduled to work out during his Pro Day next month, April 2. What we do know is he stands 6-foot-3 (6-foot-2 and change on some sites) and weighs 219lbs. He’s been clocked as high as 4.65 in the 40 and as low as 4.44.
His arms were 32” and his hands were measured at 8-1/4” at the Shrine game, but my buddy, @lifesyourcup, contests that. Look at these mits, ffs: https://twitter.com/lifesyourcup/status/555982478700060672
Williams was a high school track and field standout – mainly in the jumping events – and went on to compete at UW prior to the injury: won the 4A state title in the triple jump as a senior, setting a state record with a leap of 50-feet, 9 1/4-inches … also won the state high jump (6-feet, 10-inches) and long jump (24-feet, 5 1/4 inches) titles in 2011.
As an admitted homer, I’m most looking forward to his Pro Day from those not invited to the Combine.
Big, physical receiver who knew how to use his body as a shield back when he was a sophomore. Here, he shows amazing ball skills as he attacks the ball in the air, coming down with the completion:
That body ain’t just for show. Williams is a quality blocker and shows his physicality when asked to block, instead of receive. While watching Williams’ old U-Dub tapes, he finishes nearly every blocking play, right up until the whistle is blown. Being unselfish at a selfish position is nice to see:
Utilizes his length and size on contested catches and flashes next level catch radius. This was my favorite – seems to always know where his feet/body are in relation to the sideline:
And with a beautiful comeback, dragging both feet like an NFL bawse:
As mentioned earlier, Williams displayed elite leaping ability as a football player (watch his 2011 youtube clip against WSU) and track athlete. While vertical routes aren’t his bag, his combination of size and jumping ability can be a quarterback’s best friend in jump ball situations.
Can he ever come back to his pre-injury form and will that even be enough to succeed in the NFL? Most had Williams graded as a future first rounder until injury derailed his college career. He claims he’s closing in on being 100% and believes he’ll run a 4.4 in April.
He struggled against press coverage after the foot injury and never quite showed his 2012 explosiveness. He’s not a burner, but shows good fluidity in his routes – will need to rely on his lower half to create separation on a consistent basis at the next level. Although he has a knack for coming up with contested catches, relying on that ability frequently will net him a car sales gig in the very near future.
If I could, I’d just embed his entire 2014 tape here:
But since I can’t, we’ll both just stare at the screen like idiots.
Williams’ dynasty value will unfold as we approach the NFL draft and it will start with his Pro Day. If he is, in fact, 100% healthy and able to display the athleticism which made him a potential first round pick prior to 2013, he has a chance to be a steal for those who hold their rookie drafts early.
At this point, Williams is just a flier until he proves otherwise. Anywhere in the fourth round/late third depending on players availability is just fine with me. With a pedigree that has been forgotten, Williams can win you your rookie draft at a cost that can’t hurt you. He’s priced in for a homer like me…