The 2020 Chargers team had their fair share of exciting players this past season.
Rookie Justin Herbert set the league on fire and Keenan Allen was his usual, consistent self. But NFL.com writer Nick Shook believes there was another player who showed out despite not getting the same attention, and that guy is Mike Williams.
“All eyes landed on rookie quarterback Justin Herbert in 2020 for good reason, but the Chargers had a rough campaign otherwise, making it difficult to find standouts beyond the household names,” said Shook. “But like Keenan Allen, Williams benefitted from the aptitude of the young signal-caller. Williams caught 48 of his 85 targets for 756 yards and five touchdowns in 2020, and though his numbers weren’t near the career highs set in yards in 2019 or touchdowns in 2018, his Next Gen performance revealed his effectiveness.”
“Williams finished with a catch rate over expectation of +5.9 percent, landing among the likes of Emmanuel Sanders, Jarvis Landry and Travis Kelce. He was especially effective serving as the perimeter complement to Allen’s field-crossing impact, catching 31 passes for 521 yards and four scores on targets outside the numbers (the 14th-most yards in the NFL) and giving Herbert multiple options in different areas of the field.”
Williams’ stat line in 2020 landed somewhere in the middle between his totals from those 2018 and 2019 season, as Shook highlighted above. After three legitimate seasons in the NFL — excluding his injury-riddled rookie season — Williams has continued to progress but has still left some wanting more from the former first-round pick. The ideal scenario is a year where he combines the yardage from ‘19 and the touchdown total from ‘18, but we’ve also got to understand that Allen is still the WR1 on this team.
If Williams was squarely viewed as the second option in this passing offense, his production is a bit more appealing. Over the past three seasons, he averages over 800 yards and around 5.5. That really isn’t too shabby.
From here, if Williams can develop more of his intermediate to short game and become closer to that compete “X” receiver for the Chargers, his value, and his expected future price tag, would also become much more appealing to the team.
Now for today’s links.
Learn about the “Three F’s” that ST coordinator Derius Swinton uses to coach his unit (Chargers.com)
Chris Hayre hosts another beat writers roundtable to discuss the recent introductory press conferences for the team’s new coordinators (Chargers.com)
Jason Reed believes Justin Herbert is the smart bet for MVP in 2021 (Bolt Beat)
The Titans are promoting TEs coach Todd Downing to offensive coordinator (ESPN)
One under-the-radar star for each NFL team (NFL.com)
The Steelers plan to address Mike Tomlin’s contract this offseason (Pro Football Talk)
A new 2021 mock draft (CBS Sports)