Maxx Williams is getting a lot of attention and is a highly anticipated rookie for the Baltimore Ravens. This site lists him as Baltimore's most exciting rookie.
What makes the Big Ten product the best tight end prospect in the 2015 Draft class is his big-play potential. He has the ability to stretch the field, both down the seam, as well as along the sideline when he lines up wide. Williams also brings the ball skills necessary to make plays on the move.
Where he needs the most work is as a blocker, ironic considering how much of a run-dominant offense the Gophers were during his two seasons in Minnesota. He moves well and understands how to position himself, however he must get stronger and improve on his technique, which can be said of most rookies at the position.
On the flip side, the Baltimore Sun says to proceed cautiously with the high rookie expectations for Williams.
Ravens rookie tight end Maxx Williams won't turn 22 years old for another nine months, making him the youngest player on the team's roster.
But neither that nor the rookie second-round pick's uneven play during the various offseason workouts are the only reasons why it's probably best not to put too many lofty expectations on Williams. The recent history of highly drafted tight ends suggests that players at that position face a steep learning curve and don't often enjoy immediate success.
The Ravens did trade up to get him and Maxx has been doing/saying all the right things when it comes to just working hard and trying to get better. His success, both this year and down the road, will look good for the Gopher program so here's hoping he breaks out.
Be sure to keep an eye on Baltimore Beatdown for any and all Maxx news throughout the season.
The Big Ten Network did their conference position rankings a few weeks ago and that was nicely recapped by Norsk. ESPN's B1G Blog has their top positional groups now as well and the Gophers have earned plenty of love.
- Defensive Backs ranks right behind the BADgers in a tie with Ohio State as the next best. BBC and Murray are said to "take a backseat to no pair in the Big Ten."
- Special Teams also is not listed as the best but is "next up" behind Nebraska and Maryland. Mortell gets deserved love.
- Defensive Line is a sleeper unit noting that the Gophers had a lot of injuries last year and several young guys earned some valuable experience.
- Offensive Line is just a notch below the best of the best. This unit is rather big, even by B1G standards.
- Wide Receivers/Tight Ends get a mention too but not necessarily in a good way. Minnesota and Wisconsin are lumped as areas that may hold us back.
- And finally The Athens Messenger previews the Gopher from the perspective of Ohio University coming to play us in week four.
That's enough for today.