Backward analysis: Paul Williams

A look back at pre-draft reviews of a late-round success or an early-round miss in the AFC South.

Paul Williams, former Titans receiver, Fresno State, 2007 third round, 80th overall

Mel Kiper, 12th receiver

“… Williams will have to step it up a notch at the pro level if he’s going to reach his maximum potential. He has a chance if a team can be patient with him, coach him up, and bring him along slowly. In that scenario, he could be competing for a spot as a starter in his second or third year in the NFL. While he’s transitioning at WR, Williams will pay big dividends with his outstanding performance on special teams. His ability in this area certainly enhances his draft rating.

Pro Football Weekly, 16th wide receiver

“Has everything you desire at the position. Is physically one of the most gifted receivers in the draft and flashed signs of brilliance at the Senior Bowl, but will require a very patient, sympathetic position coach who can improve his confidence.”

NFL Draft Scout: 16th wide receiver

COMPARES TO: Ken Lucas, Carolina – “Williams just does not impress as a wide receiver, as you can plainly see he is not happy on offense. With his previous experience and family bloodlines on defense, he would be better served playing cornerback, but needs to sit down and do a gut-check to see if he has the heart to play the game.”

After four seasons:

Fred Graves was the sort of position coach PFW suggested Williams would need, though Williams had a harsher, less patient coordinator in Mike Heimerdinger.

Williams was cut by the Titans before the start of the 2010 season and finished the season on the Houston Texans’ practice squad.

He didn’t play at all as a rookie, appeared in just five games and made just one catch for the Titans in his second year and was a practice squad guy in Year 3, doing his part to keep the Titans' never-ending search for a quality wideout moving.

Since the Williams miss, the Titans have spent five more picks on wide receivers. It’s always easy to look at a miss and see players behind him who turned out better. In this instance, Arizona got Steve Breaston in the fifth round as the Titans drafted two more non-contributing receivers after Williams in Chris Davis (fourth round) and Joel Filani (sixth).