Why WR Kyle Williams Will Have Career Season

Jun 24, 2013 at 12:03 PM


With all the hype surrounding San Francisco 49ers quarterback Colin Kaepernick being a talented baseball player, many people tend to forget that 49ers wide receiver Kyle Williams was also a highly recruited baseball prospect coming out of High School. In fact, unlike Kaepernick Williams went on to be a two-sport athlete while attending Arizona State University as he was later drafted by the Chicago White Sox in the 47th round of the 2006 MLB Draft. However, Williams decided to pursue his dream as an NFL receiver and was drafted by the 49ers in the sixth-round (No. 206) of the 2010 NFL Draft. And the move seemed to be the right one.

In Williams' first three seasons, he has not only been a standout special teams player but a reliable slot receiver. A apparition General Manager Trent Baalke envisioned while drafting the Arizona State product, Baalke had high praise for his young speedy receiver, saying:

He's very competitive. He has the quickness you're looking for in an undersized player. Slot receivers have to have quick hands and this guy can snatch it.

Through Williams' first three seasons, he has accumulated 35 receptions for 461 yards and four touchdowns. In addition to receiving, Williams has done an admirable job in the return game by returning 21 kickoffs for 539 yards (25.6 average). And although Williams will mostly be remembered for his notorious fumbles during the 2012 NFC Championship Game, a game in which the San Jose Mercury News posted my picture on the front page right after his last fumble, that seems to be water under the bridge now as the Forever Faithful have been supporting him last season.

So with star wide receiver Michael Crabtree out with a torn achilles injury, how will Williams fare in 2013? Although I have always been a strong believer that rookie wide receiver Quinton Patton is by far the best of the bunch, I believe Williams will have his best season yet playing the slot.

A position that requires sure hands and fluid route running, Williams will be counted on more than ever. Having already been accustomed to 49ers offensive coordinator Greg Roman's offense for two years now, Williams has the upper hand in terms of terminology, hot-reads, and overall grasp of the playbook. And that will only help Williams as I predict him to come out of the gates blazing, with a stat line similar to 15 receptions for 240 yards and three touchdowns in the 49ers first four games. Those games include Green Bay, Seattle, Indianapolis, and St. Louis. All of those games are great matchups for Williams in the slot, as he is quick enough to find the soft spots in zone.

His production will slow down once Patton and Jenkins come up to speed with the playbook, but in the beginning do not be surprised if Williams is among the team lead in receptions, yards, or touchdowns.

With the new season upon us, it will be interesting to see how these young core of receivers play out, as they all have the potential to produce big numbers in 2013.

Ryan is the CEO/Founder of http://www.ninerfans.com. For more information please email him at [email protected] or like his facebook page at www.fb.com/ninerfans.
The views within this article are those of the writer and, while just as important, are not necessarily those of the site as a whole.


9 Comments

  • UpLateAgain
    The only knock I see on Williams relate to health issues. Some players get past those, and other s don't. If you're effective, and you have that jacket, you can count on defenders trying to take you out. So it's not a minor thing after a while. I'm just hopin', hopin', hopin'.
    Jul 28, 2013 at 2:11 PM
    0
  • Big Al
    Kyle Williams has great hands, good speed, and is an excellent open field runner. He and Kaep are made for each other. On a side note, any jerk who calls these players trash must be looking in the mirror.
    Jun 25, 2013 at 2:14 PM
    0
  • Celticraider
    No one ever talks about why Kyle was droping all those balls in the playoffs against New York. He had a concussion and the coaches knew it. They should have pulled him from the game and we would have gone to the Bowl and won. kyle was not at fault. Blame the coaches
    Jun 25, 2013 at 1:25 PM
    0
  • Frank
    Any Niner fan who thinks KW is trash isn't seeing the big picture. He was off to a great start last season before his injury. If he can stay healthy, he'll put up impressive numbers because he's got major quicks, has good hands and can exploit teams' defensive "holes". He'll also give Kap a quick option, something Brady and others have enjoyed for years. His plus is he's a good KR, despite the NFC Championship game...fans need to get past that, because this kid's a very good WR and KR.
    Jun 25, 2013 at 1:22 PM
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  • Ladale
    Seeing as though he's never been a staple of the offense, a career season may go unnoticed.
    Jun 25, 2013 at 12:02 PM
    0
  • Ladale
    Seeing as though he's never been a staple of the offense, a career season may go unnoticed.
    Jun 25, 2013 at 12:02 PM
    0
  • Edd
    Not sure who the cheerleader is that wrote this article. I havent seen anything special from Williams. Even if he comes back 100%, I dont believe he has the talent to be a starting WR. His ST play was the only thing keeping him on the roster. Lets keep it real please.
    Jun 25, 2013 at 7:23 AM
    0
  • Mike Kenney
    Williams is a quality guy best suited for the slot. The slot is going to be a crowded place. With the Ravens Q got good release working out of the slot. One of the 9ers TE variations is in the slot, something that McD did in college. I believe that GRo is going to put LMJ in the slot on some 3rd downs to try to get him on a LB. It may be that the only way AJ can get release is from the slot. Kyle's got lots of competition, but something is going to work.
    Jun 24, 2013 at 9:51 PM
    0
  • Nick S.
    Oh there's gonna be some heavy discord concerning this one. Half the Webzone think Williams is trash and that he is destined to be passed on the depth chart by Patton and/or Lockette by the time the season starts, even though all logic would say Williams will start the season as the #2 or #3, depending on the health of Manningham.
    Jun 24, 2013 at 12:12 PM
    0

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