Mark J. Rebilas/USA Today Sports

Cardinals sign third round draft choice Chad Williams

Chad Williams became the fourth Cardinals' draft choice to sign his rookie contract, as the team announced it reached an agreement with Williams on Thursday afternoon.

The Arizona Cardinals are over halfway home in terms of signing their 2017 draft choices.

On Thursday afternoon, the franchise announced it agreed to terms on a four-year contract with third round draft pick Chad Williams, making Williams the fourth Cardinals' draft selection to finalize his rookie contract.

Over the weekend, Arizona announced it agreed to terms with fifth round selections T.J. Logan and Will Holden as well as sixth round draft choice Johnathan "Rudy" Ford.

Williams was the 98th overall selection in the 2017 NFL Draft, becoming the highest-drafted player out of Grambling State since 2006, when Dallas-Johnson Hatcher was selected with the 92nd overall pick.

The 6-foot-1, 204-pound Williams participated in the Cardinals' rookie minicamp over the weekend and worked with the team during offseason training activities (OTAs) this week, but can now continue practicing with the assurance of a paycheck.

Williams finished his college career with 210 receptions for 3,062 yards and recorded 28 touchdown catches, and earned FCS All-American honors in 2016 after leading the Southwestern Athletic Conference in receptions, yards and receiving touchdowns this season.

Williams was the second highest-selected player in this year's draft who did not receive an invitation to the NFL Combine, picked only behind Cincinnati Bengals running back Joe Mixon who was not invited for disciplinary reasons. While Williams didn't have an opportunity to impress the Cardinals in Indianapolis, he did make an impression on the team with his performance at the Senior Bowl this season. 

Arizona had one opportunity to scout Williams locally during his college days, as he nabbed 13 receptions for over 150 yards in Grambling State's loss to the Arizona Wildcats in Tucson at the beginning of the 2016 campaign.

Williams is attempting to become the next small-school prospect selected by the Cardinals in the third round to make an impression at the professional level, as he's following in the footsteps of Pittsburg State's John Brown and Northern Iowa's David Johnson, a pair of skill position players drafted in the third round by general manager Steve Keim.

Though terms of the deal have not been disclosed, the value of Williams' contract is expected to fall somewhat close to $3.3 million, which will allow him to earn an average of about $825,000 over each of the next four years. However, the average third round draft choice only receives about $750,000 in guaranteed money in their rookie contract. 

With Williams now under contract, Arizona can turn its attention to signing first round pick Haason Reddick, second round pick Budda Baker and fourth round pick Dorian Johnson, who remain the only three Cardinals' draft picks not under contract. 


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