Nate Williams was invited to the combine and was one of the featured participants at UW’s pro-day. There were even teams looking at his talent, yet seven rounds came and went and Nate Williams never heard his name called.
He tweeted, “it feels worse than a break-up.” For him, it probably does because he feels like he was rejected from his dream. Not just a dream girl but his dream in life. That is rough.
Usually those snubbed from the draft only feel terrible at first, because quickly after the NFL draft is over, their phone starts ringing as teams want to sign them to compete for a spot on their roster. These players are known as undrafted free-agents. However, with the NFL in a lockout- once the draft ended, player communication also ended.
According to Adam Schefter of ESPN there were 23 players in the pro-bowl last year that went undrafted but how can that make Williams feel much better about the fact that he expected to be in the NFL right now and yet he is not. To top it all off, no one can even talk to him. So, Nate Williams doesn’t even know if there is a team that wants to sign him or not, he can only sit and hold on to that last sliver of hope.
The talent is there, and the NFL even thought so as they placed him at the Combine. Though there are always guys at the combine that don’t get drafted. Many assumed Williams wouldn’t be one of those players. ESPN had him ranked as the 23rd best safety and assumed about 25 safeties would be drafted. However, maybe that is where the problem lies as there were only 17 safeties drafted.
Here is what I wrote about him after watching his combine:
"Nate Williams, a potential late round draft pick was able to make a splash in the NFL Combine with his physical abilities. He wasn’t amazing but he was out performing a lot of the guys that should be drafted ahead of him. The fact that he made it in the top 10 out of safeties in many of the different categories shows that he has the legitimate ability to be a steal for a team late in the draft. ESPN has him rated as the 30th safety overall*, so to climb himself up into the top 10 in almost every category, says a lot for his physical tools."
When the lockout lifts look for Nate Williams to find himself on a roster somewhere and be competing for a spot out of training camp. I wouldn’t be surprised to see him playing on at least a practice squad for a team this season. While it may be tough for him now, he will have another chance to chase his NFL dream.
*After the combine, ESPN re-ranked him as the 23rd safety overall.