When the Bucs took then-Syracuse wide receiver, Mike Williams, with the 101st pick in the 2010 NFL Draft, the idea that he would end up being the team’s #1 starter come Week One had not even entered the minds of the Bucs’ organization. They did hope he would compete for the a starting spot, but did they honestly believe he would lock up the #1 spot, especially this quickly?
Over the course of mini camps, training camps, and through the halfway point of preseason, Williams has done everything right, and has outperformed fellow rookie wideout, Arrelious Benn (who was selected two rounds higher then him).
With Williams expected to be a huge part of the Bucs offense, I decided to take a look at past draft classes, specifically the decade’s past 101st pick, and see how that particular draft spot ends up performing in the NFL. Though he hasn’t played a snap in the regular season, Williams may already be the best player taken 101st overall in the decade. See for yourself.
2000: Denver Broncos select defensive tackle Jerry Johnson from Florida State. He lasted just two seasons, appearing in just 9 games, and recording only five tackles.
2001: New York Jets select cornerback Jamie Henderson from Georgia. His career ended after just three seasons following a motorcycle accident. An interesting side note regarding Henderson is that he is the cousin of Buccaneers’ wide receiver, Reggie Brown.
2003: Houston Texans select running back Domonick Davis from Louisiana State University. He played well from 2003-2006, rushing for over 3,000 yards and scoring 23 times, and is still the team’s all-time leading rusher. He ended up changing his name to Domonick Williams following his exit from the NFL after the 2006 season.
2004: Atlanta Falcons select linebacker Demorrio Williams from Nebraska. He currently plays for the Kansas City Chiefs. In 2005, Williams finished second on the team with 132 tackles, but since then, has never come close to that total.
2005: Denver Broncos select running back Maurice Clarett from Ohio State. Perhaps the most well known out of the group, Clarett wasn’t allowed to enter the 2004 NFL Draft because he did not complete three years at school. He ended up being a bust in the NFL, despite his dominant playing days in college, and ended up being $1 million in debt.
2006: Oakland Raiders select safety Darnell Bing from USC. He currently plays for the Houston Texans. He has struggled with injuries, most notably a neck injury in 2006 that placed him on the IR, and has been on a handful of different practice squads.
2007: Jacksonville Jaguars select punter Adam Podlesh from Maryland. He has been the team’s punter since his rookie season, and averages 42.2 yards per punt.
2008: Cincinnati Bengals select cornerback Justin King from Penn State. King missed his entire rookie season with a torn ligament, resulting in him being cut by the Bengals following the season. He is now a member of the St. Louis Rams, and has 14 career tackles.
2009: Dallas Cowboys select Stephen McGee from Texas A&M. The current backup to Tony Romo, McGee has yet to take a snap in a regular season game.
From the above mentioned players, there are only two guys who have made a lasting impact in the league: Domonick Davis and Adam Podlesh. However, that will soon change to three players, as we all expect Mike Williams to become a dominant player for the Buccaneers.