Mike Williams NFL Draft Profile

Mike Williams NFL Draft Profile

The Gridiron Experts team is generating a series of comprehensive draft profiles that will provide you with an abundance of beneficial information concerning prominent players. All in advance of the rapidly approaching NFL Draft. This specific profile will feature Mike Williams, who could be the first wide receiver selected during the draft’s first night (Thursday, April 27). At a minimum, he will be among the top three newcomers who will be chosen at this critical position. As he has joined Corey Davis and John Ross in a three-party tier, that has ascended beyond the other rookie receivers. Both concerning where they will be taken during the draft, and with the overall expectations of that trio’s success when the regular season begins. Davis might eventually become the best overall wideout of the 2017 class, while the tremendous speed of Ross could boost his chances of emerging quickly within the fantasy landscape. But Williams retains a combination of appealing attributes that should prompt his new team to supply him with targets on a recurrent basis. Which would propel him into relevance during his initial season, and beyond.

This is not to suggest that Williams will enter the draft without possessing any discernible weaknesses. Because as with many highly regarded prospects who sit at the threshold of launching their NFL careers, he exhibits appealing strengths that are integrated with potentially troublesome shortcomings. Those will be discussed shortly. However, any lingering concerns about the 6′ 4″ Williams should be superseded by the knowledge that he will possess a significant height advantage over many opposing defenders. The large catch radius that he can provide creates an excellent potential for Williams to secure jump balls with regularity. Which will not only induce a team to select him in the initial round of the draft but should create an inevitable path for Williams to receive abundant opportunities to employ his prodigious frame, toward exploiting that incontestable size differential. It is not difficult to envision his new signal caller being comfortable with relying upon his ball tracking ability, by launching a desirable number of passes in his direction.

His output this season should surpass the modest production that he accrued at the onset of his collegiate career. As he started just three games during his freshman year at Clemson while playing behind Sammy Watkins, Martavis Bryant, and Adam Humphries. After he amassed 20 receptions for 216 yards and three touchdowns during that 2013 season, he then led the Tigers in receiving yards as a sophomore in 2014 (1,030). Williams was sidelined for nearly all of 2015 after fracturing his neck in the team’s opener. However, he achieved the best output of his career in 2016, when he caught 98 of his 142 targets for 1,361 yards. He also averaged 6.5 receptions per game, 91 yards per game, and scored 11 times. Ultimately, he accumulated 177 receptions during his four-year tenure at Clemson, while compiling 2,727 yards and 21 touchdowns.

Among the areas of concern regarding Williams, is the fact that he cannot be classified as a genuine burner. Although he possesses enough speed to defuse any massive alarm about that aspect of his capabilities. Despite his production in 2016, some within the fantasy community have also expressed  unease that Williams did not collect a larger share of Clemson’s receptions (under 24%), or forge a higher yards after catch average. Plus, there has been a degree of angst about the fact that he will turn 23 in October, and that his results during the NFL combine were hardly spectacular. Among the numbers that he posted were 15 reps in the Bench Press, a 32.5“ vertical jump, a 121” broad jump and a 32.5 vertical jump at the combine. He opted not to participate in the 40-yard dash but did generate an unofficial 4.49 when he ran during Clemson’s Pro Day.

Mike Williams College Stats

Year School Class G Rec Yds Avg TD
2013 Clemson FR 10 20 316 15.8 3
2014 Clemson SO 12 57 1030 18.1 6
2015 Clemson JR 1 2 20 10 1
2016 Clemson JR 15 98 1361 13.9 11
Career 38 177 2727 14.45 21

It is wise not to become overly preoccupied with any of the negative elements contained within critiques of Mike Williams, to the point that his much larger number of positive qualities become overlooked. There are tangible reasons why Williams will be chosen sooner, rather than later, during Round 1 of the upcoming draft. As mentioned previously, the team that seizes him will instantly have a wideout that possesses a height advantage over many opponents. Which can be blended with his long arms (33 3/8″) and hand size (9 3/8”), to elevate his potential to seize the vast majority of 50/50 balls even further. He also has no apprehension about operating in the middle of the field, which will combine with his towering presence to create frequent usage as a preferred option, while creating a nightmarish situation for opposing defensive backs. Williams is also a natural pass catcher, who has exhibited enough body control to sustain confidence that he will produce consistently at the NFL level. Which is demonstrated with the compilations of his receptions that currently occupy highlight reels. One can easily expect his new team to exploit these advantages that Williams can deliver both downfield, and in the red zone. Making him a candidate to produce favorable results in 2017, even as he endures the learning curve that can be inherent with rookie wide receivers. Especially, if he is selected by a franchise that will immediately place him in a position to succeed.

There is a collection of teams that could benefit from selecting Williams with their first pick. Among the most intriguing and logical destinations is Buffalo, where he could supply the Bills with a legitimate second receiving option to complement his former teammate Watkins. Baltimore is another distinct possibility, as Mike Wallace and Breshad Perriman currently reside atop the depth chart of a transitioning receiving unit. Tennessee is yet another sensible location for Williams, as the improving Titans could take another stride toward playoff contention by giving Marcus Mariota a more favorable option at wide receiver than the team currently deploys on its roster. Those also just happen to be the three teams that have been forecast to choose Williams, by the five prognosticators (including me) that participated in the Gridiron Experts’ NFL Mock Draft 1.0.

Wherever he ultimately lands, Williams should garner a reasonable workload, while working every level of the field. He is fully capable of capitalizing on those opportunities, delivering respectable numbers during his rookie season, and continuing to amass production of sufficient quality to sustain viability as a fantasy option for owners.

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About the author

Phil Clark

Phil is a proud Hoosier, who relocated in Nebraska, and began playing fantasy football nearly 20 years ago. In his first ever draft, he had the third overall pick and selected Barry Sanders. That choice was instantly mocked by several other owners, but Sanders ultimately scored 14 touchdowns and generated 2,358 total yards during an exceptional season. That instantly taught Phil a very important lesson – even though none of us will forecast with 100% accuracy, you should follow your gut instincts whenever you truly believe in a player. Phil began his writing career with RotoWire, later joined Fanball, and has since returned home to the Gridiron Experts. He remains firmly convinced that the key to happiness can be found through a subscription to the Sunday Ticket.

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