Williams’ 4.55 has him ‘NFL ready’

Williams’ 4.55 has him ‘NFL ready’


Williams’ 4.55 has him ‘NFL ready’

Mike Williams solidified himself as a top 20 pick on Thursday.

Clemson’s tall, physical and athletic wide receiver ran a 4.55 40-yard dash unofficially at Clemson’s Pro Day in front of 100 NFL scouts, general managers and coaches, as well as more than 50 media outlets from all over the country at the Poe Indoor Practice Facility in Clemson.

Coming into the day, scouts were questioning whether Williams had the speed to run bye defensive backs on vertical plays. His 4.55-time in the 40 proves he does.

“Plenty good enough for the type of receiver he is,” NFL Network analyst Mike Mayock said. “What is he? He’s an outside-the-numbers, fade, fade-stop, back-shoulder, red-zone guy. He’s got an attitude. He gets after the football. He’s a first-round wide receiver all day long.”

Scouts were questioning Williams’ speed because they had not seen him run. The 6-foot-3, 216-pound wide receiver did not run at the NFL Scouting Combine earlier this month. Williams proved on Thursday there was nothing to be concerned about.

“I think people wanted to see his long speed,” Clemson head coach Dabo Swinney said. “He has run by a lot of fast dudes that they have times on, but I think they just have not seen him run. I figured he would be somewhere in the 4.5s.”

NFL teams already know everything else he can do. He is physical. He runs great routes. He is a weapon in the red zone and he can go up and get the football on most of the 50-50 balls that come his way.  ESPN Draft analyst Todd McShay says Williams is the best 50-50 guy in the draft class and his 4.5 speed puts him as either the best overall receiver in the draft or the second best.

In Swinney’s eyes, there is no one better.

“He is the complete package. He is the great combination of everything we had come through here,” the Clemson coach said. “He is the most complete. He has the dog and toughness of Jaron Brown and Adam Humphries and he has the freaky athleticism and ball skills of DeAndre Hopkins and he has the route running ability and explosive power of Sammy (Watkins). He is a handful.”

All four of the guys Swinney mentioned—Brown, Humphries, Hopkins and Watkins—play in the NFL. This past season, Williams led the ACC with 98 receptions for 1,361 yards, while scoring 11 touchdowns. He averaged 13.9 yards per catch.

“We have a Mike Williams’ rule,” Swinney said while smiling. “If there is only one on him, he is wide open. If there are two, they better be real tight on him. He is just a handful and is definitely NFL ready when he gets there.”

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