A day-by-day Broncos player breakdown is something we've been doing since our days at BroncoTalk nearly a decade ago. This year the tradition continues as we look at the Denver Broncos roster heading into the 2015 season in our 90-in-90 series.
Name: Kyle Williams
Position: Wide Receiver
Height: 5'10 Weight: 185
Age: 27 Experience: 5
College: Arizona State
The Denver Broncos for the most part have avoided significant injuries to the squad over the course of the offseason, with the exception of rookie tight end Jeff Heuerman and veteran offensive tackle Ryan Clady, who each suffered ACL injuries that will keep them sidelined for the 2015 season. In early August, a third Broncos player, Kyle Williams, also fell victim to injury and will miss the entire year due to a ruptured Achilles. It was a true misfortune for a player who was already facing an uphill battle to earn a roster spot at wide receiver. His progress to date was noted by Head Coach Gary Kubiak, who has this to say following the announcement of his injury:
"He had been doing good. I know he’s had some issues the last couple places he’d been with some things. But he has a lot of talent. He has some return ability, which is something key for our team and was doing a good job."
Williams was a sixth round draft selection of the San Fransisco 49ers back in 2010 and completed four seasons with the squad as a reserve receiver and special teams player. He signed with division rival Kansas City Chiefs prior to last season, but only saw action in one game all year long. In his five year career, he has accumulated 47 catches for 574 yards and four touchdowns and averaged 24 yards per kick return and 8.1 yards per punt return.
He is also a former teammate of Broncos backup quarterback Brock Osweiler and caught several passes from him at the end of his senior season. After being signed to a futures contract at the end of the 2014 season, the two of them, along with several other young Broncos players spent part of the offseason together with Noel Mazzone, who was their offensive coordinator during their time with the Sun Devils. Even though Williams will not be active for the Broncos this season, he deserves a part in our 90-in-90 series and his strengths and weaknesses are listed below.
The good: Versatile player who has experience as a slot receiver and returner on special teams. Has very good timed speed, clocking in as low as 4.4 in the 40 yard dash. Lethal in the open field and has the chance to score when the ball is in his hands. Quickness off the line allows him to get separation against defenders.
The bad: Undersized and lacks the strength and physicality to be a difference maker in regard to run blocking. Struggles immensely against press man coverage and is often jammed an re-routed at the line of scrimmage when facing it. Marginal route runner whose penchant for tipping routes often negates his great speed. Never lived up to the big play potential he showed in college after five seasons in the NFL, cementing his status as a journeyman receiver.
Quotable: "It's hard for me at this point to make sense of all of this but at the end of the day I understand and trust God's plan for me. My determination to get back and my work ethic will not diminish and I will eventually get back to full strength. I appreciate all those who have reached out and all of those who are praying. You all mean more to me than [you] know. Thank you." — Williams in regard to his injury via Instagram
Status: Williams was placed on injured reserve by the team two days after he suffered his ruptured Achilles tendon, effectively ending his aspirations to make the Broncos 53 man roster in 2015. Even had he stayed healthy, the lkelihood of making the final 53 was marginal at best. His injury, coupled with his uninspiring performance record to date will likely lead to him searching for work outside the gridiron come next season.
Nevertheless, we wish Williams a speedy recovery and all the bests in his future endeavors.