Route Running –He shows good release thanks to swift stab or swipe. I like how versatile he is in space, sells pretty effectively to keep DBs honest. He doesn't possess the most in depth set of routes but he does offer enough versatility to excel in the slot.
Hands –Will have some sparing concentration drops by he's pretty plucky with how he reaches out and attacks the football. Hard not to like how well he catches away from his body, which extends his catch radius and amplifies his skills in contested situations.
Contested Catch Ability –He plays bigger than his size and does more in contested jump balls than receivers bigger than him would. He's super physical to bump defenders off his frame and clear out space to elevate and rip the ball away. Good timing in his jumps.
Run After Catch Ability –He can rumble through space and put some power on his pads but he shines brightest when he's able to shake and bake in the open field. He's not the quickest to get back up to top speed after cuts and jukes and as a result he'll get caught if he's playing it too cute.
Football IQ –Former quarterback, so he's got a little bit of cerebral play to his game. Sells his fakes well. He's still going to need to add to his route tree resume but he's an ascending player who has grown more and more into the nuance of being a receiver.
Vertical Receiving –He's not necessarily a true burner and his ability to blow past man coverage is limited. As a result, he's evolved his back shoulder resume and 50/50 ball skills. He's effective in both and shows good ability to adjust his pace on deep shots to time his challenges well.
Change of Direction Skills –He's really slippery. Like how quick he can redirect his momentum and double back against the grain in an effort to break a one on one tackle challenge. He's more quick than fast but in short spaces (both with the ball and as a route runner) he's got sufficient snap.
Speed –Would say he's got adequate burst and accelerations in short spaces. He's not super twitchy or explosive and he isn't going to win with pure speed, but he has more short area quickness to defeat isolated coverage in one on ones.
Competitive Toughness –Special teamer and gadget play extraordinaire in addition to role as a receiver. He's got multiple ways to impact the game and contributes readily in all of them. His play strength shines both at the catch point and after the catch.
Blocking Ability –Tough, dedicated and high effort. He's not going to telegraph plays by lazily rolling out of his stance and half-assing his blocking reps. He presses hard to either close ground or sell vertical before sitting down and clamping his hands.
BEST TRAIT – Versatility
WORST TRAIT – Functional Athleticism
BEST FILM – Syracuse (2018)
WORST FILM – North Carolina State (2018)
RED FLAGS – None
Anthony Ratliff-Williams is a promising young player who is still growing into his role as a receiver. This former quarterback took notable steps forward as a player in 2018 and figures to continue to develop nuance as a route runner with more time at the position. Ratliff-Williams will be a nifty Swiss Army knife for his team and can contribute in numerous ways, including as a return specialist. His value will be optimized by a team that can develop him a sub-package of plays.
Round Grade: Third Round