2014 NFL Draft Prospect Watch: Washington WR Kasen Williams Faces Tough Decision

Kasen Williams

Matt Kartozian-USA TODAY Sports

A very unfortunate aspect of the sport of football is injuries.  That’s just what happens when you have guys that big running that fast with the full intention of destruction.  Injuries can affect playing time, wins and losses, draft status, potential earnings, and ultimately, life itself depending on the severity.

In the current case of Washington Huskies WR Kasen Williams, thankfully, his recent injury won’t affect his health long term, but it could impact his draft status if he declares early for the 2014 NFL Draft like many have been speculating.

Williams (6-foot-2, 212-pounds) entered the 2013 season, his junior campaign, with All-American ambitions after earning Honorable Mention Pac 12 in 2012 by finishing the year with 77 receptions for 878 yards and six touchdowns.  Through eight games this year, he was having a solid, though unspectacular season with 29 receptions for 421 yards and a TD, before breaking his foot against Cal.  It was later discovered it had been dislocated as well.

The full extent of Williams’ injury isn’t totally known yet.  He’s been seen walking around with crutches and an air cast, and some are voicing the possibility of potentially returning later this season.

My humble opinion is Williams shouldn’t try and rush rehab to get back on the field for the Huskies this year.  To try and return from this kind of injury in only a few months will only do more harm than good in the long run.  His potential draft status wouldn’t be helped by risking further injuries to the foot; it would only be hindered.  NFL personnel execs love seeing toughness, but they also like seeing pragmatism.

Assuming he doesn’t return this year, should he still declare early?

There’s the big question right there.  I don’t think he should.  Prior to the injury, he was ranked by most in the 8-15 range on receiving big boards.  That more than likely would’ve put him right around the third round, which is probably much lower than he’d like.  Now with this new injury, he’s going to drop even further.

If he decides to stick around for his senior year in 2014, he’ll be fully recovered from the injury and should continue his dominance of the Pac 12.  Depending on which underclassmen receivers declare early for the 2014 NFL Draft, Williams could become the top ranked senior wide receiver for the 2015 NFL Draft.  At the very worst, he’d be one of the top five receivers in that class, meaning he’s looking at a first or second round pick.

Either way, here’s wishing Williams a speedy recovery.

Rick Stavig is an NFL Draft Columnist for RantSports.com. Follow him on Twitter @rickstavig or add him to your network on google.

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