It looks like the Saints found a solution to their pass interference problems from the NFC Championship. Take 5-foot-7 Tommylee Lewis, the recipient of Nickell Robey-Coleman egregious early hit, and replace him with 6-foot-7, 284-pound Zion Williamson.
There’s no way Robey-Coleman is knocking around someone that big.
Drew Brees and the Pelicans’ No. 1 draft pick were seen throwing passes to one another at a training camp practice Monday. In the three passes shown, Williamson didn’t drop one. Both the Pelicans and Saints have both publicized this visit to show unity between the New Orleans professional franchises.
“The @Saints QBs had a new weapon to throw with after practice today,” the Pelicans tweeted, as Williamson posed with the Saints quarterback room. Brees had previously challenged Williamson to a “friendly quarterback competition.”
This isn’t Williamson’ first interaction with football. The Duke superstar actually fielded a scholarship offer from LSU. Former Tigers assistant Eric Mateos even said Williamson would’ve been “the best damn tight end to ever live.”
“Honestly, I just thought it would be really fun and would be good exposure for LSU if we offered him for football. Unfortunately, he didn’t seem to be too [interested],” Mateos said to ESPN. “Coach O said go recruit the best athletes in the country, and that’s what I tried to do.”
In addition, Williamson’s father Lateef played collegiately at NC State. His high school in Spartanburg (S.C.) does not have a football team.
However, he has shown off his own arm strength on a few occasions, including this Facebook video on College Gameday of him launching a ball over 50 yards down the field.
While he’s not challenging Brees for a starting spot any time soon (over 74,000 passing yards and 520 touchdowns is hard to replace after all), it’s still a wonder if Williamson’s athleticism could’ve carried him to the NFL.
Here’s the video of him tossing the football with Brees.
Williamson has thrown it even further than his College Gameday video. James Dator of SB Nation points out that a May 2019 video shows him throwing possibly over 70 yards!
There’s no evidence on exactly which beach this is, but it looks a lot like North Myrtle Beach, South Carolina — which makes sense for him. Now, if this is true we can see a large hotel. The most likely candidate is the Avista Resort.
The Avista is roughly 150 feet wide, according to Google. Williamson starts his throw from behind the hotel and the ball ends up beyond it — which already makes this a 50-plus-yard bomb. I think it’s safe to say the actual throw was closer to 70-80 yards.
The really shocking part of this video is that he just casually flicks the ball. For comparison’s sake, rookie Drew Lock of the Broncos has shown the ability to throw the ball around 50-60 yards on a line. These passes against Georgia last season prove that.
Lock and Redskins rookie Dwayne Haskins were considered to have the two best arm strengths of this class. Williamson is at least there in terms of throwing distance.
Incredible for someone who never played in high school.