Nearly 50 players took the field on the first day of the Chargers’ rookie mini camp.
Understandably, no one commanded more attention than wide receiver Mike Williams. All eyes were on the Bolts’ first-round pick, who was the seventh overall selection after a standout career at Clemson. While it’s way too early to draw any long-lasting conclusions, Head Coach Anthony Lynn came away impressed with the team’s newest weapon.
However, he also cautioned not to read too much into performances at this juncture.
“Mike showed up,” he said. “He caught the ball well and ran good routes…. Like I say, the real test comes when we get to training camp and the preseason. Then we can get real evaluations.”
Still, the early returns were encouraging.
Whether it was a full-extension grab over the middle to haul in a contested ball or gaining separation at the top of his routes, Williams showcased the traits that made him a highly coveted prospect. One of his more impressive moments came when he jumped sky high to break up an underthrown ball that appeared destined to be intercepted.
“A couple balls in tight coverage he caught today just like he did on tape,” Lynn noted. “(On) an underthrown ball he broke it up. Became the safety. (He’s) a smart, instinctive player. (He showed) the things we saw on tape.”
So how did Williams think he performed?
“I felt good,” he said matter-of-factly. “I was looking forward to this day ever since I got drafted. It was good just to get out there with those guys and learn the system.”
Still, just because Williams made it look easy at times doesn’t mean it’s been a seamless transition.
Like every rookie, Williams’ head is spinning as he must master a new playbook and a different system. Rookie mini camp is a way to acclimate these young players as they’ll be expected to keep pace with the vets during the first OTA practice on Tuesday.
“(Learning) the plays (is the biggest challenge), Williams said. “You’ve got to study a lot. Just coming from a system at Clemson (that) was a spread offense, the plays are a lot different. Learning the plays and getting the playbook down is the biggest transition. But, it’s going to be easy with the studying that I’m doing.”
Williams stressed on draft night how learning the playbook was the key to a successful rookie campaign. A football junkie, he vowed on draft night to fully engross himself in the team’s playbook. He only received it Thursday evening, but he’s already hard at work getting the plays down pat.
“Just get in the binder and look at the plays. You learn it easier when you continuously look at it and know the concepts. You learn easier like that…I’m catching on pretty easy. Everybody is going to make some mistakes; you’ve just got to learn from them, come out the next practice and go from there.”
Chargers Kick Off Rookie Mini Camp
The 2017 rookie class took the field for day one of rookie mini camp wearing Chargers' jerseys for the first time.