Preston Williams

Colorado State

Prospect Info

Colorado State
6' 4"
211 lbs
9 1/8”

Prospect Grade

Chance to Become NFL Starter
How We Grade


Williams had a long and winding path through his college career. He was a two-time all-state football selection and state long-jump champ from Lovejoy, Georgia, when he signed with Tennessee in 2015. He played in eight games for the Volunteers with one start, catching seven passes for 158 yards (22.6 average) and two touchdowns. After four games (two starts, 9-89-9.9) in 2016, however, he decided to join others transferring away from the tenure of coach Butch Jones. Williams signed on with former Georgia offensive coordinator Mike Bobo at CSU. He found trouble while sitting out the 2017 season, however, being arrested for an altercation with his girlfriend for which he eventually pled guilty and received a suspended sentence. He was reinstated to the team for spring 2018 practices. Williams starred for the Rams as a junior, earning first-team All-Mountain West honors after finishing among the nation's leaders with 96 receptions for 1,345 yards (14.0 average) and 14 touchdowns.
By Lance Zierlein
NFL Analyst
Draft Projection
Round 5
NFL Comparison
Martavis Bryant
Tennessee transfer who put on a show in his single season at Colorado State under the tutelage of position coach and former NFL receiver Alvis Whitted. Williams was able to run by cornerbacks on tape, but the speed and explosion totals were disappointing for his pro day. Williams played in a pro-style passing attack and used his size and ball skills to attack secondaries successfully on all three levels. His character flags will likely cause him to drop, but there is talent to cultivate if he can accept coaching and focus on football.
  • Tall, long and fast
  • Physical traits to become a bona fide playmaker
  • Takes his game to another level when highly motivated
  • Turned up against former SEC brethren at Arkansas and Florida
  • Swats to displace opponent's punch against press
  • Routes are rhythmic and effective
  • Flashes short-area quickness for a receiver his height
  • Bursts out of breaks and turns with long strides to separate
  • Makes route adjustments against zone or man
  • Stacks and shields cornerbacks from the ball
  • Wins with body control and ridiculous catch radius
  • Drop-and-drag specialist with precise feet near boundary
  • Feisty after the catch with ability to power through arm tackles
  • Rarely matched against NFL-caliber cornerback prospects
  • Does his own thing on press-release and will need to tighten it up
  • Ball skills still have room for growth
  • Struggles to finish low throws and contested catches
  • Content to reach for catch rather than working to center it in frame
  • Excessive deep-ball drops
  • Will need to do better job of coming back to the throw
  • Disappointing testing numbers at his pro day
  • Considered a character scratch by some teams
Sources Tell Us

"He's got some really good tape, but now he has a disappointing workout to go with character red flags. That's a bad combination. We won't take him but I would guess he could go in the middle rounds." -- NFL general manager


The Debrief

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Winners and losers from Round 1 of the 2019 NFL Draft

2019 NFL Draft: The five best value picks of Round 1

Once-in-lifetime player
Perennial All-Pro
Future All-Pro
Pro Bowl-caliber player
Chance to become Pro Bowl-caliber player
Should become instant starter
Chance to become NFL starter
NFL backup or special teams potential
Better-than-average chance to make NFL roster
50-50 Chance to make NFL roster
Should be in an NFL training camp
Chance to be in an NFL training camp
Likely needs time in developmental league