1) Introduction: When the Packers selected D.J. Williams in the fifth round last April, most were quick to say that “the rich were getting richer,” with the assumption that Williams—the Mackey Award winner in 2010—would step right into a role in the Packers already deep and talented offense. That may still happen in time, but Williams didn’t add much to the Packers’ offensive pot during his rookie season.
David Edward Williams, Jr. (D.J)
Weight: 254 lbs.
3) Expectations coming into the season: In the shorts and helmet start to training camp, Williams looked like a player that was actually going to have an impact on the Packers offense. How could Mike McCarthy possibly keep a guy that looked this good off the field? Once the pads came on and the game sped up, however, Williams quickly reverted into the 5th round rookie he really was. He was then plagued by mental miscues during the preseason, and it was clear by the start of the season that Williams needed time before becoming a bigger factor in the Packers’ offensive plans.
4) Player’s highlights/low-lights: Williams was active for 13 games but played just 104 snaps. His highest number of snaps came against Atlanta (16), St. Louis (20), Oakland (19) and Detroit (21). Williams caught just three passes for 13 yards but was only used ask to run routes on 26 of 104 snaps. The rest of the 78 snaps were either in run or pass blocking. He allowed one sack (at Atlanta) on 11 pass blocking snaps, but never seemed overwhelmed in his blocking role.
5) Player’s contribution to the overall team success: Minimal. The 26 passing opportunities didn’t allow him to make much of an impact, and his blocking was rarely the reason for a positive run. Looking ahead, you’d assume the Packers will want to see big strides in the receiving aspect of Williams’ game next season. He’s of similar size and speed as New England’s Aaron Hernandez, and there’s no reason why he can’t be a more versatile weapon in the passing game. A full offseason in the Packers organization will be important in his development. In the end, Williams may be asked to take on a bigger role regardless after a career-changing injury puts Andrew Quarless’s short-term career in jeopardy.