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Illinois Football Star has Declared for the 2024 NFL Draft…it’s not who you might think.



Illinois football

Illinois football standout Isaiah Williams has formally entered the 2024 NFL Draft.

Standout Illini wide receiver Isaiah Williams has declared for the 2024 NFL Draft.

Recruited as a quarterback from Trinity Catholic High School in Saint Louis, Missouri, Williams was the highest-rated recruit of the Lovie Smith era and also one of the most highly-touted recruits in school history. He made the transition to wide receiver after his second year on campus. The transition was the right move for Williams.

In three years, Williams is Illinois football’s second all-time leader in receptions, fourth in yards, and fifth in touchdown receptions. This season was Williams’ best. He led the Big Ten in receptions and was second in receiving yards, earning All-Big Ten First Team honors. Williams also became only the seventh receiver in school history with 1,000 receiving yards. Now, he seeks the fortunes of the NFL.

What is Williams’ draft stock?

Currently, it is too early to say; however, teams draft slot receivers somewhere between the third and fifth rounds. A lot depends on how well Williams does on the postseason all-star circuit and the combine. With speedy receivers like Jacob Cowing and Ainais Smith in this draft, a lot will depend on how well he runs and practices at the Senior Bowl.

Williams isn’t super explosive, but the NFL has always valued players who know how to get open. Williams is one of those players. No matter who was the starting quarterback for Illinois football, Williams always got open. Also, he gives any team a reliable kick and punt returner on special teams.

Some publications have Williams between the sixth round and a priority-free agent. However, it is still early in the process.

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Armchair Illini is a comprehensive site dedicated to covering University of Illinois Athletics owned and operated by Alex Kyi. Dante Pryor has been writing about College Football for years on Saturday Blitz and is now the Lead Football Author for Armchair Illini.