The Los Angeles Chargers are set to take the field for their first preseason game of the 2017 season, and they will do so without first-round draft pick Mike Williams.
Williams has yet to do much with the team aside from signing a lucrative four-year, $19.7 million contract. However, recent reports have stated that he is on the field and doing some light running.
Williams was one of the top wide receivers in the 2017 draft and has the physical tools to be great. But it has to be hard for Chargers fans to be too optimistic given the team’s recent injury history. Now you have a rookie with back problems who is coming off a nearly debilitating neck injury and it’s hard not to see that spelling disaster.
Then you have the fact that wide receiver was not among the Chargers’ positional needs heading into the draft and it’s easy to say that the team should have instead drafted a player like Malik Hooker.
The writers here at Bolt Beat were asked their thoughts on Williams. Take a look at what each of them had to say.
Q: Are you at all worried that the selection of Mike Williams with the No. 7 overall pick in the draft will end up being a really, really bad one?
Scott Iger: “No, I am not that worried at the current time. Considering how he was able to bounce back from injury in college, there is a good chance he will do the same in the NFL. Also, with the depth that the Chargers currently have at the wide receiver position, we can afford for him to take his time before he makes his debut. Hopefully the Chargers will not put Williams in until he is completely ready because the worst thing that they could do is force him in early and risk re-injury.”
Anthony Totri: “No, I’m not worried that the selection of Mike Williams will turn out to be a horrible pick for the Bolts. Why? Because Tom Telesco has proven time and time again he knows what he is doing. People questioned the Keenan Allen pick because of the lack of speed. Allen just signed an extension last offseason. People were afraid of the Jason Verrett pick because of his size. Verrett is a Pro Bowl corner. The list goes on and on with names like Joey Bosa (scheme fit) and Melvin Gordon (rough rookie season). However, each time has proven to be an outstanding selection, so have a little faith in Tommy T.”
Kade Dohmen: “My first reaction to the Chargers drafting Williams at 7 was disappointment, thinking receiver wasn’t the biggest need, especially with Malik Hooker on the board. After my gut reaction settled, I came around and saw what the Chargers were going for. As many pointed out, not since V-Jax has Philip had a target with Williams’ size and playmaking. Plus, with the lack of durability with every other Chargers receiver, it couldn’t hurt to have more depth. But one thing I remembered right after the Chargers drafted him was his neck injury. Like most, I am always very cautious with neck injuries. The nice thing with him coming to the Chargers is that we have enough depth that he won’t be pressed into action until he is 100% ready. He could essentially redshirt this whole season and it wouldn’t hurt the Chargers too badly. Don’t get me wrong, he would be a nice addition and extra weapon, but there is no need to rush him. My first reaction to this question is simple: no. Neck injuries are scary, but he can take his time. If he doesn’t become more than what Vincent Jackson was, I still don’t think it will be a really, really bad pick. Will there have been better options? Yes, but that’s always the case with the draft. I think his talent is worth a risk.”
Tyler Schoon: “As a fan, I have no choice but to worry. There’s a chance that not only does Mike Williams miss this season, but he may have chronic issues resurface over his entire career. Any first-round pick has me worrying about their potential to bust, and even last year many of us were worrying about the same thing with Joey Bosa. Hopefully, the training staff can get him right and some more positive news will come out of what is currently an uneasy situation.”
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Matt Pagels: “I think it’s too early to say if the Williams’ pick will be a bad one or not. It doesn’t help that he’s off to a rough start, dealing with a herniated disc in his lower back. He was supposed to be somewhat of insurance to Keenan Allen, the team’s No. 1 WR who has failed to stay healthy, and the “jump ball” wideout Philip Rivers loves. Luckily, the Chargers are deep at receiver. But if Williams, who is reportedly back running, does go down the same path as Allen, which is very possible, then what a waste of a first-round pick it will be (especially with such good talent in the draft).
Travis Wakeman: “I’m not as optimistic as some of these guys. Though it is definitely too soon to definitively label Williams a “bad pick”, the potential for him to be just that is certainly there. Personally, I don’t see him contributing much, if at all, in 2017, but if he can use it as a season to fill his brain with as much knowledge as he can from his coaches and teammates, his physical ability gives him a chance to be a big playmaker for the team in 2018.”
What do you guys think? Use the comment section below to let us know.