The Las Vegas Raiders made the most on-brand signing of the year in the NFL, signing a tight end who didn’t play football in high school or college.
On Monday, Las Vegas announced the addition of free-agent tight end Carson Williams.
The unique thing about Williams? He was a college basketball player at Western Kentucky and he has never played football at a meaningful level.
The 6-foot-5, 240-pound forward-turned-tight-end convinced the Raiders to bank on his athleticism and potential.
He sure looked good on this play.
Caleb Williams has specific WKU footsteps to follow in
This has worked out before. Western Kentucky basketball player George Fant was an All-Conference USA second-teamer before he transitioned to football. He signed with the Seattle Seahawks in 2016 and most recently started 14 games at tackle for the New York Jets in 2020.
The difference is Fant made the switch before his college career was up. He spent the 2015 season practicing with the WKU football team and saw action in two games.
Williams has no such football experience. He left the Hilltoppers’ basketball team in March and has been prepping for football since.
This could be a stroke of genius or an absolute waste of time. It’ll be especially noteworthy if Las Vegas passes on tight ends in the draft or the undrafted free-agent frenzy to follow. It’s one thing to take a chance on Williams, it’s another to bank on him to the exclusion of others.
The Raiders did hit pay dirt with Darren Waller, a former wide receiver at Georgia Tech, whom they picked up from the Baltimore Ravens’ practice squad. The tight end has had back-to-back 1,000-yard receiving campaigns. Maybe they know what they’re doing?