Maxx Williams projects as a second-round draft pick, ESPN draft analyst Todd McShay said Tuesday in a conference call with reporters. McShay also had good things to say about former Gopher David Cobb, while noting that this year's running back class is loaded.
"I think [Williams is] the best tight end in the class if he comes out," McShay said, and Williams made it official last week that he's leaving college early for the draft. "I think he’ll probably be second round pick, somewhere in that range.
"I was talking to a GM earlier in the year and he compared him to Greg Olsen, who was drafted by the Bears (No. 31 overall in 2007) and is now with Carolina -- just that kind of player.
"He’s got the size -- 6-4, 250-ish -- averaged 16 yards a catch, good hands, adequate blocker, can improve in that area. But I see speed on the field. He’s the only guy to me that can really stretch the field and consistently makes plays."
Others have noted how thin this tight end class is, aside from Williams. But McShay rattled off a stable of running back options, including Melvin Gordon, Todd Gurley, Tevin Coleman, Duke Johnson, Ameer Abdullah, T.J. Yeldon, Jay Ajayi and Mike Davis.
"I would say David Cobb is in that range with Jeremy Langford from Michigan State as well, Matt Jones, who’s coming out early from Florida, Cameron Artis-Payne from Auburn," McShay said. "That list right there is 12 deep with running backs that you could argue belong in the first 3-4 rounds, and we haven’t seen any running backs go in the first two rounds the last two years. So I just wonder how many of those guys are going to wind up going, really legitimately going in the second third round range or if maybe one of them will fall."
McShay said Cobb was "overlooked this year. ... He doesn’t have blazing speed, but he has really good instincts as a runner. He’s tough, he runs low to the ground, good center of gravity, and I thought he did a really nice job this year.
"I think he’s got a chance to be one of the – I don’t want to say steals -- but I think he’s got a chance to outplay where he gets drafted."