Reaction: Packers 5th Round Pick, Arkansas TE D.J. Williams

After a trade with the Denver Broncos that sent the Packers' original 4th round pick (129th overall) in exchange for multiple picks in the later rounds of the draft, the Green Bay Packers selected D.J. Williams, a tight end from the University of Arkansas.

D.J. Williams, this year's winner of the John Mackey Award, is a versatile pass-catcher who recorded 50 or more receptions in two of his last three years at Arkansas. From the Green Bay Press Gazette...

Williams won the John Mackey Award, which is given to the nation’s top tight end, during his final season with the Razorbacks. ... The first player in Arkansas annals to receive that honor. … Williams started 32-of-51 games at Arkansas, catching 152 passes for 1,855 yards (12.20 ypc) and 10 touchdowns. … His 1,855 yards rank eighth at Arkansas. … His 152 receptions are an Arkansas record by a non-wide receiver and rank second on the school’s career list behind Anthony Eubanks (153).

From Vic Ketchman's piece on D.J. Williams after the Packers drafted him...

Williams was a star at Arkansas, where he was one of Ryan Mallet’s main weapons. Williams won the John Mackey Award last year. It is presented annually to the nation’s number one tight end.

The Packers, no doubt, were interested in Williams because he is the classic contemporary tight end Head Coach Mike McCarthy loves to feature. Williams was used in motion quite a bit by Arkansas Coach Bob Petrino. Williams lined up at fullback, as a true tight end, in the slot and split wide.

Packers tight ends coach Ben McAdoo described Williams’ in-line blocking ability as "functional." Clearly, Williams was drafted mostly for what he’ll lend to the passing game.

D.J. Williams's biography, from Arkansas's athletics site...

2010: Williams has started all 12 games so far for the Razorbacks and leads all current players with 50 games played. He currently leads the team with 49 receptions and ranks fifth on the team with 589 receiving yards. His 4.1 receptions-per-game average is sixth in the SEC. 

2009: Williams played in 13 and started nine games for the Razorbacks. He was a second-team All-SEC (coaches) honoree, was named to Lombardi and Mackey Award watch lists, and was an AFCA Good Works Team and FedEx Orange Bowl Courage Award nominee. He tied for 24th in the SEC in receptions per game (2.46) and was 23rd in receiving yards per game (31.62).

2008: Williams had a record-setting season that saw him become the first Mackey Award, presented to the nation's top tight end, semifinalist in school history. He was named a SI.com Honorable Mention All-American and he was an All-SEC first-team selection by the Associated Press and a second-team honoree by the coaches.

2007: A backup at tight end to Andrew Davie, he played in every game except the Cotton Bowl. He was Arkansas' lone starting tight end against Kentucky and started along with Davie in a two-tight end set against Chattanooga. For the year, he had five receptions for 94 yards, and was named to the SEC All-Freshmen first team. His 18.8 yards-per-catch average ranked third on the team.

Williams is going to have to crack a tough rotation of tight ends that includes Jermichael Finley, Andrew Quarless, and Tom Crabtree, if he's going to get snaps on offense.

Welcome to Green Bay, D.J. Williams.

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