Mike Williams: The Ultimate “All Sizzle, No Steak” NFL Draft Prospect

by Eric McClung ·

Height: 6-4
Weight: 218
Age: 22.5
40-Yard Dash: 4.56 (41st-percentile)
Height-adjusted Speed Score (HaSS): 105.0 (81st-percentile)
Burst Score: 115.8 (23rd-percentile)

Best Comparable: Josh Gordon

They say things come in threes, and with Mike Williams that is very true. For starters, he’s the third wide receiver with that name to enter the NFL Draft since 2005. It’s also likely he becomes the third active wide receiver from Clemson — following DeAndre Hopkins in 2013 and Sammy Watkins in 2014 — to be taken recently in the first round of the NFL Draft.

In 38 collegiate games, Mike Williams amassed 177 receptions for 2,727 yards and 21 touchdowns. As a sophomore, Williams emerged from the shadow of the aforementioned Watkins to record a team-high 1,030 yards. During his final year at Clemson, Williams tied for fifth in the nation with 98 receptions. His 1,361 receiving yards was the third-most in a single season at Clemson, and a numerous wow factor catches throughout the season cemented Williams’ reputation as the NFL Draft’s consensus top wide receiver prospect.


Before helping to defeat Alabama with 94 yards and a touchdown on eight receptions in the College Football Playoff National Championship game, Mike Williams had to overcome a neck injury suffered in the first game of the 2015 season. While coming down with a touchdown in the back of the end zone, Williams’ head struck the goal post. Surgery was not required, but his season was over.

Despite impressive counting stats as a cog in the prolific Clemson offense, Mike Williams displayed underwhelming athleticism at the NFL Scouting Combine and his Clemson pro day. A fast time in the 40-yard dash was not expected from one of the biggest receivers in this year’s draft class, so Mike Williams waited until his pro day on to run on Clemson’s friendlier surface. So much for a home field advantage. After adjusting for a hand-timed pro day run, Williams ends up below average in the 40-yard dash, and more notably,  he posted an abysmal Vertical Jump, which torpedoed his Burst Score.

Mike Williams Advanced Stats & Metrics Profile

Scouting reports make it clear that Mike Williams wins by using his size and long arms in order to make contested catches. Despite the poor Vertical Jump, he’s been able to leverage his stature to high point the ball against college defenders. Tape watchers have also noted instances where Williams displayed agility adjusting his body to reel in errant throws from Deshaun Watson.

Even though Corey Davis missed both the Combine and his pro day due to ankle surgery, these underwhelming displays by Mike Williams are enough to bump him down to WR2 — if not further — in dynasty league drafts prior to seeing landing spots decided at the NFL Draft.