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Maxx Williams Ends Rookie Year On A High Note


Maxx Williams saved his best for last during his rookie season.

The second-round tight end caught six passes for 53 yards in Sunday's 24-16 loss to the Bengals, which were season highs in both categories.

It ends a solid rookie season for Williams, though it may not have measured up to some of the lofty preseason Offensive Rookie of the Year hype.

"I feel like I finished with my best game and played maybe my most plays I did all year," Williams said. "I'll just take that into the offseason and do the best I can until we get back and try to improve my game as much as I can."

Williams finished the year with 32 catches for 268 yards and one touchdown. While that isn't sizzling production, it's above average when compared to past Ravens rookie tight ends drafted in the fourth round or higher.

  • 2001, Todd Heap – 16 catches, 206 yards, 1 touchdown
  • 2010, Dennis Pitta – 1 catch, 1 yard
  • 2010, Ed Dickson – 3 catches, 11 yards
  • 2014, Crockett Gillmore – 10 catches, 121 yards, 1 touchdown
  • 2015,  Maxx Williams – 32 catches, 268 yards, 1 touchdown

Williams didn't have a lot of explosive plays. His longest of the season went for 28 yards in Week 3. His 21-yard touchdown in Week 10 against Jacksonville was the second-longest.

However, he was a sure-handed chain mover for much of the year. He caught at least one pass in 11 of the Ravens' 16 games.

"I'm a Maxx Williams guy," Head Coach John Harbaugh said last week. "I really think Maxx is going to be a good player. Maxx isn't always the prettiest athlete – and I think some people like Maxx and some people don't, athletically – but the guy can run routes. The guy can catch the ball."

Harbaugh was also impressed by Williams' toughness after the catch, especially for a 21-year-old, 6-foot-4, 250-pound rookie who hasn't bulked up yet in an NFL weight room.

"It's really amazing, because he's a really young guy physically, but when they hit him, it's not like he's bouncing off of them too often. They're bouncing off of him most of the time," Harbaugh said. "He has some natural sturdiness about him that you like in a tight end."

Harbaugh praised Williams' work ethic throughout the season. Williams' father, Brian Williams, played 11 seasons (1989-1999) in the NFL as a center for the New York Giants and instilled in his son that he should keep his mouth closed and just go to work every day.

Maxx took that to heart, as he repeated that advice throughout the season. When reflecting on his rookie year as he cleaned out his locker Monday, the Minnesota product said it was a learning experience.

"You come in thinking you know football and stuff, and you learn real quick that there's a lot to learn," said Williams, who had some of his best games against the Ravens' AFC North rivals.

"It's definitely different than playing Iowa and Wisconsin every year. You've just got to work hard. It definitely shows that every day is another day where you have to come in with a clear mind knowing you have to be at your best."

So what will Williams work on most this offseason?

"I'm only 21, so hopefully I can get bigger, faster, stronger and learn how to run routes better, get better technique and everything," he said. "I'm so young, hopefully I can improve on a lot coming into next year."

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