The Seattle Seahawks reinforced their ailing receiving corps Saturday, activating rookie wideout Kasen Williams from the practice squad, making it now three former undrafted receivers from the University of Washington on the current 53-man roster.
Williams joins former Huskies Jermaine Kearse and Kevin Smith as part of Seattle's five-man receiving corps, alongside Doug Baldwin (another undrafted free agent) and 2015 second round pick Tyler Lockett.
Williams gets his opportunity in part because Kearse (calf) and Baldwin (hamstring) are dealing with muscle strains, which have limited Seattle's starters in practice this week.
To make room on the active roster, the Seahawks placed reserve tight end Anthony McCoy on season-ending Injured Reserve.
Williams initially signed with Washington as a highly regarded prep prospect. A horrific leg injury which ultimately forced two surgeries threatened to steal his NFL dreams, however, pushing off the draft boards of several clubs. The Cincinnati Bengals initially signed Williams after he went undrafted but released him when he failed the club's physical.
The Seahawks opted to give Williams a chance and he responded with standout performances during the May mini camps and training camp
Even before the injury, the question with the well-built 6-1, 219 pound Williams was simple - does he possess the explosiveness to separate from NFL corners? Williams accelerates smoothly off the line of scrimmage and uses his body well to shield corners from the ball on quick slants. He is a highly physical receiver, whose aggression and strength made him very effective blocking on the perimeter. He has long arms, big hands and impressive body control, giving him a wide catch radius.
It is appropriate that Williams NFL regular season debut could come at home Sunday against the St. Louis Rams, who feature a highly physical secondary sure to challenge the rookie's readiness.
Fortunately for Williams and the Seahawks, there isn't a hotter quarterback in the NFL than Russell Wilson, who enters Sunday's game with a streak of 19 touchdowns and no interceptions over the past five games - all wins for Seattle.