D.J. Williams: 2011 Green Bay Packers Evaluation and Report Card

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Packers tight end D.J. Williams
D.J. Williams

1) Introduction: When the Packers selected D.J. Williams in the fifth round last April, most were quick to say that “the rich were getting richer,” with the assumption that Williams—the Mackey Award winner in 2010—would step right into a role in the Packers already deep and talented offense. That may still happen in time, but Williams didn’t add much to the Packers’ offensive pot during his rookie season.

2) Profile:

David Edward Williams, Jr. (D.J)

Position: TE
Height: 6-3
Weight: 254 lbs.
AGE: 24

Career Stats


3) Expectations coming into the season: In the shorts and helmet start to training camp, Williams looked like a player that was actually going to have an impact on the Packers offense. How could Mike McCarthy possibly keep a guy that looked this good off the field? Once the pads came on and the game sped up, however, Williams quickly reverted into the 5th round rookie he really was. He was then plagued by mental miscues during the preseason, and it was clear by the start of the season that Williams needed time before becoming a bigger factor in the Packers’ offensive plans.

4) Player’s highlights/low-lights: Williams was active for 13 games but played just 104 snaps. His highest number of snaps came against Atlanta (16), St. Louis (20), Oakland (19) and Detroit (21).  Williams caught just three passes for 13 yards but was only used ask to run routes on 26 of 104 snaps. The rest of the 78 snaps were either in run or pass blocking. He allowed one sack (at Atlanta) on 11 pass blocking snaps, but never seemed overwhelmed in his blocking role.

5) Player’s contribution to the overall team success: Minimal. The 26 passing opportunities didn’t allow him to make much of an impact, and his blocking was rarely the reason for a positive run. Looking ahead, you’d assume the Packers will want to see big strides in the receiving aspect of Williams’ game next season. He’s of similar size and speed as New England’s Aaron Hernandez, and there’s no reason why he can’t be a more versatile weapon in the passing game. A full offseason in the Packers organization will be important in his development. In the end, Williams may be asked to take on a bigger role regardless after a career-changing injury puts Andrew Quarless’s short-term career in jeopardy.

6) Player’s contributions in the playoffs: N/A. Williams was a healthy scratch for the Packers’ Divisional Round game with the Giants.


Season Report Card:

(D+) Level of expectations met during the season
(D+) Contributions to team’s overall success.
(N/A) Contributions to team during the playoffs

Overall Grade: D+


Zach Kruse is a 23-year-old sports journalist with a passion for the Green Bay Packers. He currently lives in Wisconsin and is working on his journalism degree, while also covering prep sports for The Dunn Co. News.

You can read more of Zach's Packers articles on AllGreenBayPackers.com.


8 thoughts on “D.J. Williams: 2011 Green Bay Packers Evaluation and Report Card

  1. It will be good for all of our 2011 rookies to participate in the teams off-season program, as they had none last year. I hope we get some good contribution out of this group.

  2. Another TT draft choice who didn’t perform up to the PR that followed him. This isn’t unusual for TT. The question is, did he show something off the field that didn’t show on the field? To me he will be one of the potential expendibles for 2012. If there are other options that develop from the draft or UDFA, it’s likely he’ll not make the cut.

    D-, maybe an F is my grade. Don’t think he’ll be opn the team in 12′.

    1. You’re so wrong!! With the strike he never had a chance. I think you’re going to see a amazing transformation from last to this year with D.J. Williams! Give McCarthy a whole off-season to devise a game plan with both Finley and Williams and I’m sure next season you’re going be passing out A’s and saying “boy was I wrong”!!!

    2. “Another TT draft choice who didn’t perform up to the PR that followed him. This isn’t unusual for TT.”

      Come on, Ron. The “PR” that “follows” players has little to do with the player, and nothing to do with TT. You are talking about media commentary or fan hype, I’m guessing.

      I’m pretty confident that the drafting department and TT don’t pay a rip of interest in the PR on these kids. They watch film and make decisions based on their assessments.

      How about guys like Aaron Rodgers (not athletic, another cal system QB, ugly carriage and mechanics), Jordy Nelson (reach pick), Jermichael Finley (who?), Bryan Bulaga (arms too short), Desmond Bishop (late rounder, can’t get it done in regular season, inconsistent), DJ Smith (undersized), Nick Collins (Not smart enough, Who?? Small school, won’t make the transition to the pro game)?

      If you’re talking about the PR that follows these players, you’ve got to look at both sides of that coin.. Besides, I see more “Who the heck is this guy” picks by TT and his staff than “Big name, big expectations” picks.

      Perhaps your statement should be “Another TT draft choice who didn’t perform up to the artificial expectations that the fans or media placed on him. This isn’t unusual for football fans.”

  3. D.J. Williams is going to be a stud in the Packers offense in 2012! Even if we do sign J. Finley Williams will shine. I think Coach McCarthy will have a whole new play set having Finley and Williams on the field at the same time much like the Pats use Gonck and Hernandez.

  4. Williams supposedly played good on special teams, but that is very hard to evaluate. I like him, but unless he develops better route running quickly I cant see him getting a roster spot next year.

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