After years of waiting for Mike Williams to develop into a complete second receiver, he finally did in 2019. Williams achieved his first 1000 yard season. He also led the league in yards per reception with 20.4, the highest since DeSean Jackson averaged 20.9 in 2014.
Williams was able to come up in the clutch many times over the course of the year. Oddly enough, the two most memorable catches for me came in games they lost. The huge receptions in Mexico vs. Kansas City and at Denver to keep the team alive really impressed me. I’m not sure he could’ve made plays like that in previous years.
As mentioned earlier with Allen, there will be some adjustment to a new quarterback. Rivers had a gunslinger mentality when it came to throwing it deep to Allen, Williams, or even Tyrell Williams in his time here. Taylor plays more conservatively in comparison. While Herbert has a big arm, I’m not sure you’ll see him uncorking it too much yet if he does take the field.
The two most important traits for Williams next season will be route running and minimizing injury risk. Creating separation for Taylor and Herbert is more important with Rivers gone. Due to his size. he’s not going to be a route runner on the level of Allen, but getting behind defenders a little more often wouldn’t hurt with a more conservative quarterback.
While Williams was able to play 15 out of the 16 games, he played through injury for most of the year. It’s hard to not take some big hits especially when laying out for deep passes consistently, but tweaking his form might be key to Williams being able to really play all 16 games.