OWINGS MILLS – Ravens tight end Maxx Williams is the youngest player on their 90-man roster, and one of the youngest in the NFL. He turned 21 years old in April, after leaving the University of Minnesota as a redshirt sophomore.
Is Williams ready to handle the NFL at such a young age, as a rookie tight end expected to make an immediate impact?
“Hopefully I’m ready to make the jump because I did declare early,” Williams said, smiling after Monday’s OTA session. “For me, it’s just going out here and just trying to improve every day. It is taking it one step at a time – learning the playbook as much as I can, learning how to watch film. Learning how to just play football is really what it comes down to, and every day that’s what I’m striving to do.”
The Ravens traded up three spots in the second round (No. 55) to grab Williams, regarded as the best tight end in the draft. It is no secret Williams has a chance to be an important piece of the offense if he proves that he’s ready. The future of Ravens tight end Dennis Pitta remains uncertain as he works back from his second major hip surgery. Second-year tight end Crockett Gillmore and fifth-round draft pick Nick Boyle are also vying for playing time.
Plenty is being thrown at Williams right away – joining a new team and learning a new offense.
“It’s just a whole different scheme,” Williams said. “In Minnesota, we were going to run power all day and just run play action. That’s all we did unless we had drop back.”
Now Williams is lining up in multiple formations, catching passes from Joe Flacco. The challenge for Williams is to learn quickly, so he can play without overthinking. But Williams said he was not losing confidence.
“I got drafted – they said- for a reason, and, I mean they felt that I could come out here and do it,” Williams said. “I’m trying to prove to them that they did draft me for a good reason.”