NAME: Anthony Ratliff-Williams
SCHOOL: North Carolina
POSITION: Wide Receiver
JERSEY: No. 17
RECRUITMENT RATING: 3-star
WT: 205 lbs
Routes – Wins routes early with his work at the release but isn’t a true route salesman and more nuance is needed to create leverage. Has the speed to separate vertically down the field. Route tree was expanded in 2018 vs 2017, showcasing more routes with multiple breaks but his tree is still limited. Still growing in terms of reading coverage, making sight adjustments and adjusting on the fly.
Hands – Has some impressive moments snagging the ball in a crowd, holding on through contact and securing the football through contact. Is guilty of an occasional uncontested drop. Doesn’t allow the football into his frame and does well to extend his arms and secure it away from his frame. There are some double catches/bobbles on tape. Blend of highlight reel catches mixed with some blunders.
Ball Skills – Illustrates an alpha mentality at the catch point and assertively attacks the football. Tracks the football well vertically down the field and adjusts to its trajectory. For the most part, does well to establish body positioning at the catch point. Want to see better adjustments in the short and intermediate areas of the field to off target throws. Body control is strong.
YAC Ability – Vision, acceleration and competitive toughness make him a weapon post-catch. Elusive enough to slip tacklers and showcases an aggressive stiff arm. Doesn’t have dynamic speed or twitch but still finds ways to create for himself.
Release – Evolved greatly in 2018 compared to 2017. Developed hand technique and footwork to beat press coverage and win in the contact window. Does well to reduce his surface area and get around opponents. Tremendous variety in his releases which is challenging for corners.
Play Speed – Has good but not elite play speed despite offering big play upside. Will need to develop more nuance in how he wins down the field for it to translate to the NFL level.
Blocking – Absolutely love his effort as a blocker. It’s obvious how committed he is about getting his work done. Fits his hands, battles to stay square and competes through the whistle. Treats running plays as if they were passing plays given how he explodes off the line and attacks DBs as a blocker.
Play Strength – Doesn’t lack strength or a willingness to physical. Dedicated blocker that holds his own blocking defensive backs. Illustrates good contact balance with the ball in his hands. Doesn’t get outworked for body positioning at the catch point very often. Not dominant but he checks the box.
Versatility – More than capable of working outside or from the slot. Former QB that can throw the ball on occasion. Has experience as a wildcat QB and can take handoffs. Has made big plays as a kick returner. Three level threat at receiver.
BEST TRAIT – Versatility
WORST TRAIT – Route Running Polish
RED FLAGS – None
A high school quarterback, Ratliff-Williams made the switch to receiver at UNC and offers playmaking upside in a variety of ways. The Tarheels’ leading receiver in 2017 and 2018, Ratliff-Williams has also produce big plays as a kick returner. He needs to develop more nuance with his route running technique and clean up some drops but the upside is present for him to be a top three option in an NFL passing game. His versatility should lead to opportunities to make plays early in his career as he develops his overall skill set. A good but not great athlete, Ratliff-Williams improving his technique is critical for him to make the same big plays be made in college at the NFL level.