The Seahawks continue to work the Husky receiver pipeline and have signed former Washington standout Kasen Williams. This is a move that many had expected and hoped for after Williams put together an impressive performance in Seattle's rookie mini-camp back in May, and the potential upside that he possesses is pretty intriguing. At 6'1, 220 pounds, he has a unique size/weight ratio for those on Seattle's roster, and is more reliant on physicality and size than quickness or speed.
Of course, Williams went undrafted for a reason -- his promising college career stalled due to a major leg and foot injury suffered in 2013, and when came back last season he was only able to grab 20 receptions in a pass-impaired Husky offense. The former five-star recruit will have to show that he can operate in Seattle's specific pass offense, but theoretically speaking, he does fit their scheme. He's a strong and physical blocker, plays to his size and can go up and get passes over defensive backs, and is strong along the sideline. He reminds me a little bit of a shorter, lighter Mike Williams type -- not one to shred man coverage, but a player that uses his long arms and body-positioning to come down with passes.
He'll have some pretty major competition at the spot, though. Even with Paul Richardson still likely to hit the PUP list to start the season, Williams still has Doug Baldwin, Jermaine Kearse, Tyler Lockett, Chris Matthews, Kevin Norwood, Ricardo Lockette, Douglas McNeil, and likely Kevin Smith in front of him.
He may surprise us all, but my guess is that Williams will be a longer-term project for Seattle -- best case-scenario this year would be the practice squad and/or intermittent ghost rostering (i.e., keeping him on the ole' speed dial), with the goal of developing him over the next two seasons as a contributor (as they've done with several receivers in their program). Lance Zierlein said it well over at NFL.com's scouting report when he noted that "if his health checks out, he could become a practice-squad penny stock with a chance to pay off down the road when fully healthy."
The Seahawks alluded to signing Williams after the mini-camp in May but were evidently waiting until UW's graduation wraps up (he would not have been eligible to practice with the team prior to this weekend). Williams announced the signing on his instagram page.
"I am happy to announce that I have officially signed with the Seattle Seahawks! I cannot wait to play in front of my hometown and the 12s! I am truly grateful to the Seahawks organization for giving me an opportunity. #Seattle #Seahawks #BlueFriday #GoHawks #KhroniclesofKasen"
To make room on the roster, the Hawks released linebacker Mister Alexander.