Name: Mike Williams
Position fit: Wide receiver
Stats to know: Caught 51.9 percent of deep targets, good for sixth in the nation
What he does best:
- Dominates at the catch point, uses his giant frame to tower over defensive backs
- Huge catch radius and wing span facilitate spectacular grabs
- Deep threat, uses his size to box out defensive backs
- Tracks the ball exceptionally downfield, a constant threat on fades and back-shoulder throws
- Effective over the middle, made a number of catches in traffic
- Uses his length to separate at the line of scrimmage, consistently moves the chains on third down
- Difficult to defend running the slant, makes tough conversions in key games situations
- Strong hands – dropped only 5.77 percent of opportunities in 2016 (18th in FBS)
- Physical option on bubble screens and other quick throws
- Occasional concentration lapses resulted in a couple of simple drops
- May not create enough separation to fit with every quarterback style. Needs aggressive passer to allow him to win at the catch point in contested situations
- Not the most dynamic, unlikely to convert short gains into big plays underneath – averaged only 4.0 yards after catch per reception in 2016
- Suffered a season-ending neck injury in 2015
Player comparison: Alshon Jeffery, Chicago Bears.
Like Jeffery, Williams is physical at the catch point and capable of turning off-target throws into completions. Both receivers can win in the short game while providing a downfield threat in contested situations.
Bottom line: Mike Williams was possibly the deciding factor in Clemson claiming revenge against Alabama in a rematch of the 2015 National Championship. He displayed all the qualities that make him such an exciting prospect against NFL-caliber defensive backs. As well as presenting opponents with a matchup problem, Williams also represents a reliable target underneath. He projects as a receiver capable of using his body to move the chains while adding a downfield component to the passing game due to his ability to win at the catch point with strong ball skills.