As he tries to push up the depth chart himself, Preston Williams is lined up to help Josh Rosen win the Dolphins’ quarterback competition.
At first glance, the Miami Dolphins look deep at wide receiver. Former first-round pick DeVante Parker, Kenny Stills are the easy top two, as Albert Wilson (hip) progresses toward being ready for Week 1 to go with Jakeem Grant and the recently signed Allen Hurns in the competition for roles and roster spots. But undrafted rookie Preston Williams has been a standout.
Williams had a team-high four catches for 97 yards in Miami’s preseason opener against the Atlanta Falcons, while also drawing multiple pass interference calls. He has turned heads on the Dolphins’ practice field dating back to OTAs, as he has put his size (6-foot-5, 218 pounds) on display.
Williams was regarded as a potential first-round pick at some point during the pre-draft process. But a 2017 arrest after a domestic dispute involving a then-girlfriend led to a pullback of an invite to the NFL Combine, and a bad Pro Day sealed him going undrafted.
Williams made a nice one-handed catch against Atlanta, and he showed some route-running prowess against Buccaneers’ cornerback Vernon Hargreaves in joint practice leading into Friday night’s game this week.
The relationship between Williams and Rosen dates back to 2014, when they played together at The Opening 7-on-7 camp in Oregon. Rosen’s gunslinger mentality and Williams affinity for 50-50 balls are a good match.
Preston will go get the ball, so you’ve got to give him those opportunities,” Rosen said. “He’s an unbelievable athlete. He’s got a great attitude. He works really hard, and I think he’s got a really high ceiling. It’s just about how hard he works, and I’m right there in the boat with him.
Rosen is competing with Ryan Fitzpatrick for the starting job going into the season right now, though it feels like a matter of time before the 10th overall pick in the 2018 draft sees the field.
Fitzpatrick started the preseason opener, and earlier in the week he was slated to start Friday night. But it should be Rosen’s turn to get some extended run with the starters against Tampa Bay, and perhaps make a strong case to head coach Brian Flores that the quarterback competition should be put to bed. No matter what, Williams will help Rosen’s cause.