04 Jul Preseason Scouting Notes: Seth Williams, WR, Auburn
Junior | 6’3” | 224 lbs | Cottondale, AL | Third Team All-SEC
Seth Williams has good athletic ability, displaying short area change of direction and acceleration to make him an effective route runner. Possesses the agility and body control to adjust well to the ball and make contested catches.
A crafty route runner, Williams has a good understanding of leverage to turn the defender’s hips with his initial deceptive move before countering for an opposite release. Though he does not have the elite speed to release from press without a deceptive move, he uses his hands well to keep the defender off his chest and has good aggressiveness and burst to get across the face of the DB into space. When he does not feel the ball will come his way, his effort suffers, and he can be held up in press.
Shows good change of direction ability at the top of his routes, with a smooth quick speed break. Williams drops his hips well with quick, choppy steps to decelerate and explode on curls, comebacks, and whip routes. He makes subtle adjustments to his stem before the break to attack the defender’s leverage and keep them off balance to maximize separation against off-man. Finds the holes very well against zone coverage at all levels. When unable to leverage the DB, he either uses his long arms to push off at the top of the route or boxes out with his large frame and good body control. He can struggle to separate when the DB gets hands to his chest, jamming at the top of his route and can fail to hold the red line on vertical routes.
He displays an impressive ability to adjust to balls above his head, with the leaping ability and hand strength to high point and come down with contested balls. Possesses the awareness to make catches on the sideline and stay inbounds and shows good instincts to make quick catches on curls. He can struggle to adjust to balls behind him on the run and will sometimes backpedal when tracking the ball, rather than running straight and boxing out the defender with his back. This tendency can allow the DB time to adjust and make a play on the ball.
Yards After Catch (YAC):
One area he did not display on film was his ability to create after the catch. He transitions well from receiver to runner and has the aggressiveness and toughness to put his head down to gain extra yardage, but does not possess the lower body strength to consistently break tackles and is not particularly elusive in the open field.
A good competitor, Williams shows the willingness and aggressiveness to be effective as a run blocker vs DBs. On contested balls, he has the attitude that the ball is his, and fights to gain possession. He can take plays off when he does not believe the ball will come his way, but when he is on, he is a staunch competitor.
Williams has the traits to be a true X receiver in an NFL offense. He can make an impact at all three levels, but thrives most on intermediate to deep routes. His leverage understanding makes him a crafty route runner and when he cannot create separation has the body control to box out and come down with contested balls. He can struggle to adjust to balls behind him on the run and is not particularly effective as a YAC threat. He could step in as a No. 3 receiver in the NFL from day one and has No. 2 WR upside.
What to look for in 2020:
His production last season was somewhat limited by the play of freshman QB Bo Nix. With another year of maturity for the young signal caller and a more pass-oriented OC Chad Morris, Williams could see a big production jump in 2020.
With his route running and contested catch ability, Williams will be a coveted receiver at the next level. His lack of YAC skills underneath may push him out of 1st round contention, but look for him as a Day 2 steal.