The Dallas Cowboys came away with a very good wide receiver when they drafted Terrance Williams in the third round last month. Williams has the size the Cowboys covet and he also possesses the speed and hands to be a really good receiver in the NFL for years to come.
However, Cowboys fans need to pump the brakes on how good Williams will be early in his career, especially in the 2013 season. Williams will be a very good NFL receiver but it takes time to get to the level fans seem to believe he’s capable of playing at right away. It takes wide receivers with immense talent a few years for everything to finally sink in and Williams, despite his good skill set, isn’t an elite talent.
I’m not putting down Williams, who I like as a prospect, but we only need to look at his new teammate Dez Bryant to see how much of a learning curve there is in the NFL. Bryant is much more of an elite player than Williams is and it took Bryant over two years in the league to break out. In fact, the general consensus is that it takes three years for wide receivers to finally “get it” and expecting too much from Williams could be a mistake.
Take a look at some of the best wide receivers in the game today and you can see that not every great receiver takes off right away. Larry Fitzgerald had only 780 yards receiving in his rookie season; Calvin Johnson had 756 and Brandon Marshall, caught just 309 yards worth of passes in his rookie year, so it’s a difficult league to adjust to. For every rookie breakout like Anquan Boldin, there are more receivers like Greg Jennings, who had just 632 yards receiving in his rookie year, that struggle early on.
Let’s also remember the Cowboys have plenty of other receiving options before Williams gets his looks so tempering expectations might keep fans from getting their hopes up. Despite what fans have been saying and all of the optimism from anyone inside the Cowboys organization, it would be very difficult to see Williams starting over Miles Austin, as some people have suggested. Let’s see how Williams looks in training camp and in preseason games before we start the hyperbole on him.
Terrance Williams is a very good prospect for the Cowboys and he should be a great addition to the Dallas receiving corps, but let’s slow down on predicting just how good he will be in 2013.