Round 2: Ravens Trade Up To Select TE Maxx Williams

It's a beautiful thing when need and value come together.

That's what happened in Friday's second round when Minnesota tight end Maxx Williams slid down the board close enough for Baltimore to trade up and snatch him.

The Ravens got the top tight end in the draft exactly when they desperately needed one.

Baltimore lost Owen Daniels in free agency and Dennis Pitta (hip) is still a question mark. Baltimore had just Crockett Gillmore and Phillip Supernaw at the position.

The Ravens traded their second-round (No. 58) and fifth-round (No. 158) picks to the Arizona Cardinals to move up three spots and grab a player that was projected to them in the first round in early mock drafts.

Speaking with reporters, Williams sounded out of breath with excitement. He and his family exploded in celebration, and there was likely a similar reaction in the Ravens draft room.

"The last two days, my heart has been pumping," Williams said. "I just waited for my name to be called and the phone to ring, and I got more and more excited. Fortunately I heard my phone ring and I'm a Baltimore Raven."

Williams is a 6-foot-4, 254-pound sophomore who left for the NFL draft early after logging 36 catches for 569 yards and eight touchdowns last season. He's just 21 years old and still has room to grow his game and body.

Williams compares favorably to the Vikings' Kyle Rudolph, a 2012 Pro Bowler, and models his game after the Cowboys' Jason Witten, an 11-time Pro Bowler.

"That's who I want to be like," Williams said. "The guys, Jason Witten and Kyle Rudolph, they're out there every day doing everything they can for their team – blocking, [comma] catching and just being a difference. That's what I've always tried to be for my teammates."

Williams isn't a burner, and his stock dropped after he ran the 40-yard dash in 4.78 seconds at the NFL Scouting Combine. But he's still an excellent receiver with a collection of highlight-reel grabs.

Williams has a fantastic catch radius, excellent hands and enough speed to challenge the middle of the field. He's a handful to cover in the red zone and should be immediately able to help move the chains. Of Williams' 36 grabs last year, 82 percent were for a first down or touchdown.

"I do my work, I get as prepared as I can, I go out there and I play as hard as I can," Williams said. "Good things happen when you play hard," Williams said.  "I just try to make plays."

Williams was also considered the most complete tight end in the draft. He takes pride in being physical, helping boost Baltimore's run game and making him a fit for the AFC North.

Williams could have ended up elsewhere in the division. The Ravens hopped just one spot ahead of the division rival Steelers, who are in the market for a tight end with Health Miller (32 years old), to grab Williams.

"I always had a good feeling for [the Ravens]," Williams said. "At the combine, I had a great meeting out there. I just had a good feeling that they'd call my number maybe."

With the addition of wide receiver Breshad Perriman in the first round and Williams in the second, the Ravens have dramatically improved quarterback Joe Flacco's targets. After selecting defensive players with their first three picks the past two years, the Ravens are investing in offense this May.

Just like Perriman, Williams also comes from athletic bloodlines. His father, Brian, played for the New York Giants. His grandfather played quarterback at Notre Dame and was drafted by the Chicago Bears. His mother played volleyball at Minnesota.

"[My father] said, 'You know what? You have to earn respect, you have to go in, shut your mouth and go to work every day. Earn the respect of your teammates and show who you are because you're at the highest level,'" Williams said.

Williams may be in a position to make an immediate impact. Gillmore started one game last year, and even though his receiving game improved dramatically as the season went on, he still considers himself a blocker first.

"I told everyone I was striving to be a starter right away," Williams said. "You have to have your goals and what you want to go for. That's what I want. I want to be a starter, I want to prove that I can make a difference and go win a championship."

This article has been reproduced in a new format and may be missing content or contain faulty links. Please use the Contact Us link in our site footer to report an issue.

Related Content