Rodney Williams, an FCS All-American at tight end, signed an undrafted free agent deal with the Denver Broncos, joining their 13-man undrafted free agent class.
Could he sneak a spot onto the final roster?
#86 Rodney Williams
Weight: 235 lbs
Position: Tight End
How he fits with the Broncos in 2022
A converted receiver, Rodney Williams moved over to tight end his senior season and immediately found success. Williams was named to back-to-back All-OVC and FCS All-American teams in 2020 and 2021. There wasn’t much pre-draft buzz on Martin, with no All-Star or Combine invites. However, he did show out at his Pro Day with some outstanding jumps and speed.
Calling Williams a “tight end” is a rather loose umbrella term, as over 60% of his college snaps were in the slot or out wide. UT-Martin didn’t play him much in-line because of his small frame and mediocre at best blocking ability. The Skyhawks moved Williams around the formation to attack defenses, and it paid off-finishing 15th in the FCS in yards per catch at 14.4. He has the athleticism to stick around as a “move” tight end in the NFL, a player who is detached from the line and is primarily a receiving tight end.
Where it gets tricky is the numbers game. The Broncos have Greg Dulcich, Albert Okwuegbunam, Eric Tomlinson, Eric Saubert, and even Andrew Beck as a quasi FB/TE option. Teams typically keep 4 at most, so Williams is already fighting an uphill battle to even get his name into that top-5. The team also already has an excellent receiving rookie tight end in Greg Dulcich and they seem confident in Albert Okwuegbunam as well. Williams would have to provide an additional impact of being a blocker to have a fighting chance, something he hasn’t shown he can do at an NFL level yet. However, Williams is certainly a capable athlete with immense upside as a move tight end.
Williams is certainly an intriguing UDFA and is one worth taking a swing on in that process. The Broncos’ tight end room is filled with players on just one-year deals, so Williams might be able to play a part in the future. For 2022, it seems incredibly likely he ends up on the practice squad while he continues to develop physically and adjust to the offense. The athletic testing and receiving upside is worth taking a shot on and developing.