As most Bucs fans and fans of teams that have played the Bucs are finding out, Mike Williams could arguably be the steal of the draft. After falling to the 4th round he has come on strong in the first eight games hauling in 36 receptions for 559 yards and five scores. If you were wondering that puts Williams on pace to shatter the Buccaneers’ rookie receiving records and finish the season with some Pro Bowl-caliber numbers (he’s on pace for 72 receptions, 1,118 yards and 10 TD’s). But stats don’t always tell the whole story and apparently he’s still got plenty of things to work on.
I have no idea what deeply mathematical, statistical algorithm PFF uses for determining a rookie’s place on the list. It may be a deeply complex formula that takes into account variables the average NFL fan couldn’t even consider. PFF takes football to a level of analysis that the average media-site doesn’t even approach. They measure even the most nuanced of stats to gauge which players are the most productive play in and play out, not just when they’re around the ball.
Based on who is ahead of Williams (who doesn’t appear in any capacity on the list) I was tempted to question somebody’s sanity. Bucs fans can probably stomach Williams being behind Ndamakong Suh (8th) and Sam Bradford (1st) but guys like Alterraun Verner (2 INT, 2nd place), Perrish Cox (1 INT, 3rd place) and Tony Moeaki (344 yards, 2 TD, 4th) are not having better years than Mike Williams statistically…
But this list is based off of proficiency beyond just the numbers a player puts up. Thankfully somebody at Pro Football Focus was gracious enough to answer why Williams wasn’t on the list. This is what PFF had to say about omitting Mike Williams.