Illinois WR Isaiah Williams would be a perfect middle round draft pick for Ravens

In the latest edition of this site’s Every Round Baltimore Ravens Mock Draft, the following pick stands out: Rd5: Pick 153 Isaiah Williams, WR, Illinois. This would be a great selection, as Williams would both fill a need and be a tremendous value for Baltimore here.

Williams, who came to Illinois as a highly recruited quarterback before shifting to wide receiver in 2021, led the Big Ten in receiving this past season. The St. Louis native was All-Big Ten first team, as he finished second in receiving yards, behind only Ohio St.’s Marvin Harrison Jr., who many believe will be the first wideout taken in this year’s draft.

His elite 2023 season was foreshadowed by the stellar way he ended his 2022 campaign. Williams was arguably the best offensive performer on the field when Mississippi St. beat Illinois in the Reliaquest Bowl on Jan. 2, 2023. It was the biggest game that Williams played in during his college career, and afterward, he spoke about the new role he was given and how well that worked for him.

“I was not just being used as a gadget (today), being able to run routes and get open, I got to show that I can create separation,” he said in an exclusive with The Sports Bank.

While it was in a losing cause, Williams conveyed that afternoon in Tampa how he truly has the clutch gene. The Illini team captain was the only player in the nation with two game-winning touchdowns in the final minute or overtime this past season. He also left school as the leading receiver in the Power 5 for players with eligibility remaining.

One thing the Ravens receiving corps could use more is YACs, a forte of Williams. He led the Big Ten and ranked 10th in FBS in yards after catch with 553, per PFF, during the regular season,

He’s also a chain mover, as his 48 first-down receptions ranked 14th in the nation (2nd in the Big Ten) during the regular season

In addition to all that, he’s got tremendous character. He was a semifinalist for the Jason Witten Man of the Year Award and a nominee for the AFCA Good Works team.

“Not only is he a good football player, but I think he’s an exceptional person with great leadership qualities,” Illinois head coach Bret Bielema said after Williams made the switch from quarterback to receiver.

“He’s lightning in a bottle, just a very active, natural receiver. He’s an exceptional player.”



Story originally appeared on Ravens Wire