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Raiders sign former college basketball player Carson Williams at tight end

Is this the Raiders’ version of Antonio Gates?

Northern Kentucky v Kentucky
Carson Williams (No. 23)
Photo by Joe Robbins/Getty Images

Well, this is an interesting way to start draft week.

The Las Vegas Raiders announced on Monday afternoon that they have signed Carson Williams as a tight end. Williams hasn’t played football since the 8th grade. He was a college basketball player at Northern Kentucky (2016-17) and Western Kentucky (2018-2020).

At is 6’5 and 240 pounds, Williams was a forward in basketball and started 117 college games. He was Kentucky’s High School Mr. Basketball (that’s a big deal) in 2016.

Williams recently dedicated himself to becoming a football prospect and put together a strong performance at Western Kentucky’s Pro Day.

It caught the attention of those in the scouting community.

Williams isn’t the first college basketball player who transitioned to the gridiron and played tight end. It has happened several times in the past and often those players have stuck around. The most famous college hoopster-turned-tight end of course is former Chargers star Antonio Gates, who will likely end up in the Pro Football Hall of Fame.

Clearly Williams is a stud athlete. So, why not? His best bet for 2021 is likely to make the practice squad and continue to work on his football skills. It will be fun to see his development.