CLEMSON, S.C. – Mike Williams could be the first wide receiver drafted in the 2017 NFL Draft.
Regardless, in the eyes of coach Dabo Swinney at least, he leaves Clemson as the “most complete wide receiver” that the Tigers have had since he’s been a coach at the school.
“He’s the great combination of everything we’ve had come through here,” Swinney said Thursday at Clemson’s pro day. “… He’s got just the dog and toughness of Jaron Brown and Adam Humphries. He’s got the freaky athleticism and ball skills of DeAndre Hopkins. He’s got the route-running ability and explosive power of Sammy (Watkins). He’s a handful.”
Williams, who is 6-foot-4 and 218 pounds, was one of the nation’s top and leading receivers last season when he had 98 catches for 1,361 yards and 11 touchdowns. In the Tigers’ national championship game win alone against Alabama, he had eight catches for 94 yards and one touchdown.
“We had the ‘Mike Williams rule,’” said Swinney, who has been at the school as either an assistant or head coach since 2003. “If there’s only one on him, he’s wide open. If there’s two, they better be real tight on him in coverage. He’s a handful, and definitely NFL ready.”
During pro day, Williams ran routes and caught passes from quarterback Deshaun Watson, along with taking part in numerous on-field tests, including the 40-yard dash. He ran unofficial times of 4.50 and 4.49 after choosing not to run it at the NFL Combine.
Williams also met with NFL teams; all 32 had representatives in attendance, including four head coaches. The Chicago Bears’ John Fox, Pittsburgh Steelers’ Mike Tomlin, Detroit Lions’ Jim Caldwell and Tennessee Titans’ Mike Mularkey all were in attendance.
Williams, who finished his career with 177 catches for 2,727 yards and 21 touchdowns, is projected to go to the Buffalo Bills with the 10th overall pick, according to NFL Media draft analyst Chad Reuter’s most recent mock draft.
Though expected to go a few rounds after Williams, Clemson wide receiver Artavis Scott also could be on an NFL roster next season.
Scott, a three-time All-ACC selection, had 245 catches for 2,480 yards and 18 touchdowns during his time at Clemson.
“I think Artavis is an incredibly underrated football player,” Swinney said. “He is really hard to tackle. He is excellent with the ball in his hands and he’s dynamic, in that he can do a lot of things. He’s going to be a great special teams player.
“I’ve never seen anybody catch him. He’s got unbelievable football speed. And, he’s really developed into a really good receiver. He’s going to be a guy that just makes plays.”
As of right now, Scott is expected to be a Day 3 pick in the NFL draft. CBSSports.com believes that he will be selected in the fifth round.
(You can follow Dan Mathews on Twitter @DanMathewsATL)
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