Duke Williams

Duke Williams

Wide Receiver #81
Team: Buffalo Bills
Ht / Wt:6'2" / 224 lb.
College:Auburn
Age:28
Born:May 13, 1992
Drafted:2016 / UDFA

Duke Williams: Heads to COVID-19 list

Williams was placed on the Bills' Reserve-COVID-19 list Wednesday, Sal Capaccio of WGR Sports Radio 550 Buffalo reports.

Analysis: It has not been confirmed whether Williams has tested positive for COVID-19 or been in close contact with an infected person or persons. Once he's cleared of any virus implications, he's set to compete for a depth spot at wide receiver, a challenge that got a bit more difficult when the team traded for Stefon Diggs this offseason.

July 29, 2020 3:27 PM EST

Duke Williams: Leads team in targets

Williams had four catches (10 targets) for 49 yards in Saturday's wild-card loss to the Texans.

Analysis: Williams went from being a healthy scratch for most of the season to leading the Bills with 22 targets over its last two contests. Last week's pronounced role came in a meaningless game where plenty of starters rested, but the team kept him heavily involved with the season in the balance. The undrafted rookie displayed good athleticism, and he is the only Buffalo wideout checking in above six feet tall (6-foot-3, 225 pounds). Veterans John Brown and Cole Beasley are entrenched as the team's outside and slot options, but Williams has put himself in position to compete for the other outside wideout role during training camp next season.

January 4, 2020 6:49 PM EST

Duke Williams: Active Saturday

Williams is expected to be active for Saturday's Wild Card tilt against the Texans, Jenna Harner of News 4 Buffalo reports.

Analysis: Williams had a productive regular season finale, as he hauled in six of 12 targets for 108 yards. He had not suited up since Week 8 prior to that, but with the team resting several starters to keep them healthy for the playoffs, the rookie got an opportunity to shine. It looks like he did enough to earn an active designation, but he is simply expected to provide depth at wide receiver.

January 4, 2020 11:24 AM EST

Duke Williams: Shines in meaningless finale

Williams caught six of 12 targets for 108 yards to lead all receivers during Sunday's loss to the Jets.

Analysis: The rookie hadn't suited up since Week 8, having been a healthy scratch across several games in favor of smaller, speedier receivers. Williams showed he was ready, making himself the main part of the offense in what certainly was an audition for the future. We'll see if it's enough to get him bumped ahead of Robert Foster -- who's done nearly nothing all season and didn't catch a pass even though he was active Sunday -- when the Bills travel to Houston for the wild-card round next weekend.

December 29, 2019 9:12 PM EST

Duke Williams: May finally see another chance

Williams is not among the inactives for Sunday's regular-season finale against the Jets, Chris Brown of the Bills' official site reports.

Analysis: The athletic receiver is expected to suit up for the first time since Week 8. While he likely won't have starting quaterback Josh Allen for much of the game and will have to share the workload with Isaiah McKenzie and Robert Foster, Williams is one of the better red-zone targets the team has to offer. While his production probably won't be off the charts, Williams seems like one of the leading candidates to see some key throws if the Bills do score a couple of times in this game of subs.

December 29, 2019 8:58 AM EST

Duke Williams: Inactive once again

Williams is inactive for the fifth straight game Thursday, Chris Brown of the Bills' official site reports.

Analysis: Even with a gimpy Robert Foster muddling his way through practices, Williams can't find a spot in the lineup. He's done a good job just making the team following a troubled college career that turned into a CFL stint, but for now he's come down a long way from his Week 5-8 relevancy.

November 28, 2019 12:13 PM EST

Duke Williams: Inactive for Week 12

Williams is inactive for Sunday's game against the Broncos.

Analysis: That makes the fourth straight inactive week for the rookie. Effectively, he's gone from the No. 3 option in the passing game to the No. 6 spot. It's not that Williams really did anything wrong, just that the team has tweaked its offense to create a need for jet-sweep specialist Isaiah McKenzie, and there's no way return guru Andre Roberts would sit unless injured. Williams' best bet to see playing time is probably to outplay the disappointing Robert Foster during the practice week.

November 24, 2019 8:33 AM EST

Duke Williams: Inactive for third straight

Williams is inactive for Sunday's game against Miami, Joe Buscaglia of The Athletic reports.

Analysis: So much for a rotation between Buffalo's depth wideouts, as the rookie will now sit for the third straight game. Williams has done a nice job getting a second chance at a career following troubled times in college, but for now he's still on the fringes of an NFL roster until injuries strike or the Bills simply have a change in focus and want to go with more size for their receiving corps.

November 17, 2019 8:33 AM EST

Duke Williams: Huge play in first NFL game

Williams caught all four of his targets for 29 yards, including the game-winning touchdown, during Sunday's win over the Titans.

Analysis: Williams was just bumped up from the practice squad Saturday, so this turned out to be quite a weekend for the rookie. While John Brown and Cole Beasley remain the clear top options in the Buffalo passing game, the key takeaway here as that Zay Jones non-existent in this one while going catchless. Jones seems to be quickly wearing out his welcome with the Bills, so Williams have the chance to get more opportunities in the coming weeks.

October 6, 2019 6:15 PM EST

Duke Williams: Boosted up from practice squad

Williams has been activated from the practice squad, Chris Brown of the Bills' official site reports.

Analysis: The team had an open roster spot after cutting offensive lineman Conor McDermott earlier in the week. Williams -- who offers a great size/athleticism component but is still unpolished -- will start at the bottom of the depth chart but could work his way up quickly given how disappointing the No. 3 guy, Zay Jones, has been to go with the nagging injuries that keep pestering last season's breakout receiver, Robert Foster.

October 5, 2019 12:36 PM EST

Duke Williams: Stays in Buffalo via practice squad

Williams has been signed to the Bills' practice squad, Matthew Fairburn of The Athletic reports.

Analysis: Williams just missed making the team and offers lots of upside with his 6-foot-3, 225-pound frame, so we have to imagine the Bills are psyched no one else claimed him during the short waiver period. There's a decent chance the CFL signee sees action in the regular season once injuries or poor play happens with the regular crew.

September 1, 2019 10:34 AM EST

Duke Williams: Fails to make roster

The Bills released Williams on Saturday, Jay Skurski of The Buffalo News reports.

Analysis: Williams had been a solid asset during the preseason, racking up two touchdowns, but failed to make the roster. The former CFL product had been looking to settle in as the final receiver to make the roster, but failed to do so. He could be a practice squad candidate or could head back to the CFL.

August 31, 2019 8:54 AM EST

Duke Williams: Modest showing Thursday

Williams caught two of five targets for 18 yards in Thursday's preseason win over the Vikings.

Analysis: He's competing with Ray-Ray McCloud and Isaiah McKenzie for a final roster spot, and it's going to come down to the wire. McCloud had a big game Thursday, catching all five of his targets for 48 yards. Williams, based on his size, probably has the most upside of the three and would be the most likely to rack up a few touchdowns, will McKenzie has the most experience and provides the best gadget option to the Buffalo offense. We'll see how it shakes out in a few days.

August 29, 2019 10:03 PM EST

Duke Williams: Another preseason TD

Williams caught all three of his targets -- including a 16-yard touchdown -- for 15 yards in Buffalo's preseason win over the Lions on Friday.

Analysis: While the other two catches didn't do anything, this was the second straight game Willams hauled in a TD pass. He's in a battle for what might be the last WR spot, with Isaiah McKenzie -- who also scored a touchdown Friday -- and Ray-Ray McCloud the most likely competitors. There's likely room for one on the final roster, though that could move to two spots if the Bills sour on Robert Foster, who hasn't done much of anything since training camp started.

August 23, 2019 10:16 PM EST

Duke Williams: Posts touchdown in preseason action

Williams caught three of four targets for 38 yards -- including a 16-yard score -- in Friday's preseason win over the Panthers. "Another young player that made a big time contribution tonight, you could feel him," coach Sean McDermott told the Bills' official site. "He flashed and I think did some good things in the run game, blocking as well."

Analysis: Williams, a signee out of the CFL, has great size (6-foot-3, 225 pounds) and athletic ability, but the Bills seem set at the first 4-5 spots at wide receiver and he may be battling for one final roster spot. There are several guys in that same position -- Ray-Ray McCloud and Isaiah McKenzie have been standing out as well lately -- so the last two weeks of preseason action and practice are crucial for Williams.

August 19, 2019 4:46 PM EST

Duke Williams: Plans to make most of last chance

Williams, signed by Buffalo following a stint with the CFL, has made a good impression on the coaching staff so far. "I like the fact that he seems to have developed some self-awareness in terms of what went on a few years back to where he is now and knowing what he must do, at least off the field, to prove his worth to people in this league at least, in terms of the decision makers around the league and starting with us," coach Sean McDermott told John Murphy of the Bills' official site.

Analysis: At 6-foot-3 and 225 pounds and coming from a troubled college career where he showed all kinds of talent at Auburn before being kicked off the team, Williams has more upside than any receiver vying for the team's open fifth and possibly sixth WR spots. Williams doesn't offer blazing fast speed, but he has all kinds of size and hands and athleticism and is hard to beat on 1-on-1 balls. He'll be competing with Andre Roberts, Ray-Ray McCloud, Isaiah McKenzie, undrafted free agent David Sills plus a few others to try and secure a roster spot this summer.

May 18, 2019 9:08 AM EST

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