Tyrell Williams signs with the Raiders, and I’m not crazy about the fit. He’s a nice player, but I don’t expect he’ll be used enough.

Williams worked his way into the league as an undrafted free agent out of Western Oregon in 2015, and he’s proven to be a legit receiver. He’s 6-foot-4, 205 pounds, with good speed. Reports indicate he ran a 4.42 at his pro day four years ago, and that’s legit – he can take the top off a defense.

But too often with the Chargers, they didn’t ask him to do much more. Two years in a row he’s caught 41-43 passes and scored 4-5 TDs. He’s been deployed mostly as a vertical receiver outside the hashmarks, as they used Malcom Floyd in the past. Williams has averaged 16.4 yards per catch over the last two years.

Williams is capable of much more, I think. Back in 2016, Keenan Allen got hurt in San Diego’s opener, so they had to use Williams on more other routes. He caught 69 passes for 1,059 yards and 7 TDs that year, with plenty of looks around the goal line.

My preference for 2019 would have been for Williams to land on a team where he could have been used more like he was back in his second year. Playing with the Raiders, opposite Antonio Brown, I expect he’ll be used more like what we’ve seen the last two years with the Chargers – a field-stretching accent piece.

In each of the last two years, Williams hasn’t been one of the top 40 wide receivers in the league (standard scoring). Back in 2016, he was the league’s 15th-most productive.

He’s signed to a four-year deal worth $44 million, with half of that money guaranteed.


—Ian Allan