It's unlikely that a tight end will come off the board early in the first round of this year's NFL draft. However, that does not mean there aren't quality players available at the position.
Many count Minnesota's Maxx Williams as the top tight end in the class, and he could provide a big boost to an NFL offense, given his talent as a pass-catcher and blocker. The former Golden Gophers star drew plenty of praise Wednesday on NFL Network's "Path to the Draft" as NFL Media analyst Daniel Jeremiah compared him to a former Pro Bowl tight end for the Baltimore Ravens, Todd Heap.
"When I watched him, I saw a lot of Todd Heap because of his penchant to make special catches," Jeremiah said. "Maxx Williams, though, may be a little better blocker coming out. Heap may (have had) a little more top speed. But I love the way Williams is a hands catcher."
Like Heap, Williams is a big-bodied player who isn't afraid to snag a pass in traffic and can make a living turning short or intermediate routes into big gains. NFL Media analyst Charles Davis mentioned a former NFL tight end who played a key role in helping the Chicago Bears make a run to the Super Bowl in 2006 when he offered his Williams comparison.
Williams is likely to be picked late in the first or early in the second round. NFL Media analyst Charley Casserly believes Williams will first be under serious consideration to be picked at No. 30 overall, when the Green Bay Packers are on the clock. If the Packers pass on him, the Oakland Raiders and Atlanta Falcons could be potential landing spots for Williams in the second round.
One thing is clear -- Williams won't be overlooked in the draft, given some of the lofty comparisons being made about his skill set.