This afternoon I am going to take a look at the 49ers third 6th round pick from the 2010 NFL draft, Kyle Williams. I was extremely excited when the 49ers brought him in last season because I remember a few different games in college where he stood out.
It didn't work out all too great for Williams as a rookie, he never saw regular action on the offensive side of the ball and had Ted Ginn blocking his advancement as a return man. This does not mean that he doesn't have the ability or athleticism to succeed in the NFL; he does.
This post is going to take a look at Williams as well as other players that were possibilities for the 49ers when they selected him. Keep in mind that we are not at a point in the draft where production probably doesn't mean ability. Usually 6th and 7th round picks act as roster fillers, training camp invitees and practice squad personal. Luckily, for the 49ers that wasn't the case for any of their 2010 draft picks.
6th Round, 206th Pick: WR- Kyle Williams Arizona State
2010 Stats: 1 Games, 1 Reception, 8 Yards
Analysis: Williams has a chance to be an electric special teams player for the 49ers. But, more than that; he could get into the regular receiver rotation in 2011. In the 6th round you are going to get a nice amount of players that have physical limitations and other on the field question marks; that really isn't in question. However, Williams is a gifted return man and offensive player.
Williams is extremely fast and can be difficult for other teams to cover in the open field because of this elusiveness. Hopefully, the 49ers find a way to get him in the field more often in 2011, especially in the slot. I would rather see Williams and his upside on the field than Ted Ginn
It is possible that Kyle Williams turns into a #2 or #3 wide receiver, but I think that it is more probable that you are looking at him to be a #4 man that gets onto the field occasionally, and makes a huge impact in special teams. Not bad for a late 6th round pick.
6th Round, 207th Pick: S- Myron Rolle Florida State
2010 Stats: Did Not Play.
Analysis: Huge fan of this guy; his character intelligence, and all around great work ethic cannot be understated. I mean, he is a
Road Rhodes Scholar at one of the top universities in the world. Does this translate to success in the NFL? maybe
He is an extremely talented safety with real good instincts and coverage ability, but he didn't play his senior season at Florida State opting to study at Oxford instead. This may question whether or not Rolle is even interested in playing football moving forward. He has stated his willingness to play a few years, but you need to have someone fully committed to the game in order to succeed in the NFL; I am not sure that Rolle ever will be considering all the other options he has for himself in life. Nonetheless, it was worth a 6th round flyer to pick up Rolle.
7th Round, 213th Pick: DE- Willie Young North Carolina State
2010 Stats: 2 Games, 0 Tackles
Analysis: Young was extremely productive his time at North Carolina State. His sack totals went up each season, which leads me to believe that he has shown progress over the years. However, this didn't translate to a high draft pick. Heading into the 2010 draft Young was considered a 2nd round pick, but fell all the way to the 7th round. Detroit picked up a player that many thought would contribute right away.
Well, it didn't work out that way. Young barely saw the field in 2010, only playing in two games. That said, the Lions do need some more pass rush threats to go a long with Ndamukong Suh and NIck Fairley, Young could be that man; at least, on a limited basis.
7th Round, 217th Pick: LB- Dekoda Watson Florida State
2010 Stats: 15 Games, 1 Start, 30 Tackles
Analysis: Like most of the rookie Tampa Bay had on their roster in 2010, Watson simply produced. Despite only starting one game, the season finale, Watson was able to move up on the depth chart and see more playing time as the season moved forward. You are looking at a player that finished with 30 tackles, and made solid contributions to special teams.
Moving forward, I expect Watson to be Tampa Bay's starting weak side linebacker; most likely beginning the season. This is how high I am on him.
7th Round, 219th Pick: WR- Terrence Austin UCLA
2010 Stats: 5 Games, 0 Starts, 3 Receptions, 47 Yards
Analysis; The 49es were obviously looking at wide receiver with the final 6th round selection, and I am incredibly happy that they did not go with Austin. I just don't see a player that has major upside moving forward. Austin, even as a senior at UCLA he was only able to compile 37 receptions; a regression from his junior season.
If Washington was high on Austin they would not have spent a whopping three picks at this position during the 2011 draft. That has to be an indicator of sorts.
7th Round, 222nd Pick: WR- Marc Mariani Montana
2010 Stats: 1859 All Purpose Yards, 12.7 Punt Return AVG, 25.5 Kick Off Return AVG, 1 TD
Analysis: If the 49ers were looking for a return man, they should have taken a deep look at this guy. Mariani was a special teams stud in 2010, and promises to only build on that for the Titans moving forward. He made the Pro Bowl his rookie season as a 7th round rookie. That is some pretty amazing stuff.
After compiling 1,300 yards in 2009 for Montana, Maraiani didn't play his senior season; this could have caused his draft stock to plummet. I look for him not only to be a special teams stud in the coming seasons, but to be added to the Titans receiver rotation and make an impact on offense. In hindsight, I am sure that most NFL teams, including the 49ers, would have wanted to take a flyer on this guy.
Synopsis: There were a lot of solid contributers that were taken towards the end of the 2010 draft. In fact, I would have to say that it went down as one of the most successful late round drafts in recent NFL history.
Did the 49ers get the right man? Well, if you look at Marc Mariani, you would have to say no. However, it is important to look past the exterior and delve further into it. Kyle Williams played at a high level for Arizona State during his time there, and never really showed anything that would throw up "red signs" in terms of his ability to translate to the NFL.
I expect Kyle Williams not only to be the 49ers primary return guy in 2011, but to be given some more time at the slot position on offense. He has shown some really good hands, an ability to create separation in the defensive backfield, is solid in route running, and can be electric with the ball in his hands.
Overall, you are still looking at an extremely solid draft pick for the 49ers and I am looking forward to seeing him progress as a player in the coming years.