College: Southern California
Birthday: January 4, 1984
Mike Williams is in football no-man’s-land. When a federal judge ruled last spring that the NFL could not prevent underclassmen from entering the draft, Williams decided to turn pro. But then when a higher court overturned that ruling, the NFL took the true sophomore’s name off of the draft list. He tried to return to USC, but the NCAA slapped that down since he had skipped the spring semester and signed with and accepted benefits from (including cross-country trips on a chartered jet, a Bahamas vacation, and workouts at pricey training facility) an agent. Williams now must wait for the 2005 draft.
Williams was an impact player at the college level. In his 26 games at USC, he scored 30 touchdowns and had at least 100 yards receiving in 12 games. He is deadly in the red zone, using his muscular frame to shield away defenders and his long arms and big hands to pull the ball in. Williams runs well after the catch and is tough for defensive backs to bring down.
Williams lacks the speed of a top prospect, having run the 40 in 4.56 (with the wind) and 4.62 (against the wind) seconds at his workout for scouts last spring. His best fit may be as a slot receiver running primarily inside routes, and some predict that he will grow eventually into an H-back in the Shannon Sharpe mold. Since he will be sitting out this season, Williams may show some rust when he hits the field in 2005.
Most experts had Williams going off the board somewhere in the first 15 picks in the 2004 draft. If he can use his time away from the game to improve his pure speed, he should actually be drafted at least that high this time around.
(profile written by Warren DeLuca
Mike Williams’ 2003 Stats G CTH YDS AVG TD 13 95 1,319 13.8 16 Mike Williams Home