Position Ranking: #2
Strengths: Williams brings three years worth of experience in a pro-style offense that was diverse in its makeup. He lined up as a traditional end, in the slot, and as a fullback. Shows good release quickness off the line and bends his shoulder with subtlety to avoid the jam when releasing. Very good on the delayed release when chipping defenders.
Knows when to settle into a zone and help his quarterback; was asked to run coverage option routes. Sharp route runner when breaking inside and out on his short and intermediate patterns. Better quickness than long speed; shows the short area burst to separate from tight coverage. Runs determined after the catch, dropping pads and churning his legs through tacklers. No hesitation when facing contact. Very willing blocker who continued to improve his technique on in-line blocking and in space. Highly regarded as a team leader and heavily active in community service.
Needs Improvement: Size and strength is only adequate as an in-line blocker and has trouble driving lineman off the ball. Overpowered by defensive ends in pass protection. Capable of making the tough catch but also dropped a good share of routine throws. Lacks the long speed to be a consistent threat down the seam. Not a big pass target.
Bottom Line: D.J. Williams is a complete team player and showed he could do everything a team would ask from a professional tight end. He played in a combination offense that offered both power and spread formations which will help him acclimate to an NFL playbook. The only thing Williams lacks is overall height and deep speed to be considered an elite prospect.
He was a consistent safety valve for his quarterback at Arkansas and routinely moved the chains as a reliable third down option. Blocking will likely always be a slight concern, but not due to effort or technique, only pure size. Williams has played at a heavier weight in the past but it really affected his athleticism and production. From a skill set standpoint he reminds me a bit of Bo Scaife, and should find a similar niche and production as Scaife has had in an NFL offense. Overall, Williams is a reliable player who brings high character both on and off the field.
Draft Projection: Mid 2nd to early 3rd round.