PFF tabs Cardinals TE Maxx Williams as team’s ‘secret superstar’
There is a multitude of players who could have qualified to be the Arizona Cardinals’ “secret superstar” in Pro Football Focus’ collection of one from each NFL team.
Prior to a season-ending injury, though, tight end Maxx Williams was getting a bulk of playing time in a high-octane Cardinals offense that makes him the pick for author Sam Monson.
Now likely relegated to the No. 3 tight end on the depth chart and a blocking role if he makes it out of training camp, Williams was playing very well for the Cardinals before a knee injury ended his 2021 season and caused the team to trade for Zach Ertz. Williams has typically graded well during his NFL career but just hasn’t been given the opportunity to show he can contribute beyond blocking. His career high in snaps is 490, but he was on course to blow that out of the water last year after playing 220 snaps in just four and a half games before the injury.
Williams was well on his way to having the best season of his career before his year came to an end. In just five games, Williams racked up 16 receptions good for 193 yards and one touchdown.
Ertz was acquired midway through the season to replace the injured Williams, and second-round pick Trey McBride is expected to be the other tight end Monson alludes to that is likely ahead of Williams on the depth chart.
Williams has to get healthy first. He has started training camp on the physically unable to perform list.
The 28-year-old Williams was selected in the second round of the 2015 NFL Draft by the Baltimore Ravens.
Williams’ most productive season as a pass-catcher came in his rookie year with Baltimore, where the tight end hauled in 32 catches for 268 yards and one touchdown.
After spending three seasons with the Ravens, Williams signed a two-year, $7 million contract with the Cardinals in 2019 and has remained in Arizona since.