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 The Mike Williams Conundrum 
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ST Coordinator – Danny Crossman

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Post The Mike Williams Conundrum
The Lions look at Mike Williams as a potential tight end. He does not like the idea, calling himself a "wide receiver":

http://seattlepi.nwsource.com/football/ ... aft15.html

Williams is a unique talent. He was a big time performer at the college level at powerhouse USC. He has great hands but below average speed and agility. He has a huge frame and is powerful.

Disagreement on Williams can be found everywhere. Kiper now rates him the top prospect in the draft. Gosselin thinks he will fall and that he does not have the speed to be a big time performer?

What is your read?

1. Should Williams make the switch to TE? Is that his best position?
2. As WR, how will Williams fit into the NFL game? How could you scheme him to take advantage of mismatches?
3. If Williams is dramatically opposed to being a TE do you draft him if you think that is his best position?


April 17th, 2005, 8:14 am
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His lack of speed (which is still decent, not slow) would make him an amazing TE due to his size and speed at the position. I think he should make the switch and could be the main focus of an offense (Shockey, Gates, Gonzalez). At WR, he could get double teamed and shut down. Granted, he could blow up any possible jams with his physicality and toughness, but once the S comes over to help, he'll be covered and wouldn't be able to shake them. That's my thought.


April 17th, 2005, 9:42 am
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If it takes a double team to shut him down then he is an NFL WR. 4.58 in the 40 is not slow, remember teams shying away from Anquan Boldin bc of his 4.7s and then wet themselves when he tore it up??? There is nothing a scout can do that is more stupid than overlook a brilliant college career at a high level of competition with hours of game tape showing off a kid's athleticism. I dont care if other WRs can run faster them him on a track in the middle of spring with shorts on. He is superproductive, had great hands, strong and is always open bc of his height and leaping. Think of how great of a downfield blocker he can be too. This is a great WR and is by far the best in this draft (sorry superstar Braylon). Think Herman Moore but bigger, stronger, faster and with better hands...


April 17th, 2005, 10:46 am
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Post Re: The Mike Williams Conundrum
Yorick wrote:
1. Should Williams make the switch to TE? Is that his best position?


No, he is a liability at tight end in the rushing game, where as he is a mismatch at wide receiver in the passing game.


April 17th, 2005, 1:15 pm
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ST Coordinator – Danny Crossman

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Williams' 40 time is fine, but his acceleration is not top shelf. Boldin's was.

I think the receiving game is quite different from the TE position. It would be a very long and complicated transition for him, which he does not want to make. That is a huge red flag.

I do think he could be successful, but he is an offensive tweener of sorts, and unless you create a system where he is a WR version of the H-back, call it the W-Back and designed your offense around him, you would essentially be using him too much out of position, asking him to do things he is not good at and not exploiting what he does well: red zone scoring and bodying the small CBs. His career will be interesting to watch, beginning with his debut, where he could plunge out of the top 10 as Gosselin predicts.


April 18th, 2005, 12:23 am
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with all due respect. are you just making stuff up right now?


April 18th, 2005, 5:40 pm
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I thought I was being quite clear. If not, you will need to clarify what you do not understand.


April 18th, 2005, 6:30 pm
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A WR version of the H-back huh? You are basically saying that he will be a TE but be able to play off the line, out of the backfield, and in motion. He will be a WR and could fit into almost anyone's offense without completely changing the scheme for an invented position. You havent seen teams throw to bigger receivers inside the 20?


April 19th, 2005, 1:44 pm
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Big receivers have an advantage in the red zone, no question, but with rule changes the Keyshawns and Herman Moore type WRs were reduced in effectiveness. Right now there are very few in the league and speed has become the universally coveted quality in wide receivers as I am sure you would agree. This does not necessarily mean a burning 40 time, but especially quickness is coveted to get separation. Williams does not have that burst and he will have to rely on his size and strength to get separation. Will that work? Obviously many teams are skeptical since they want to play him at TE. What I was saying was to fully leverage his very unique talents you would have to design an offense around him and use patterns fitted for his strengths. Many teams like the Lions would not seem to have much interest in that, especially since they already have more talented receivers and his skills do not translate to the traditional slot receiver spot. I have no idea of how his game will translate to the NFL level, but I am pretty sure he will drop out of the top 10 in the draft. The best fit for Detroit is Edwards and Clayton. We will see.


April 19th, 2005, 2:21 pm
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A lot of the great catches I remember Roy making he seemed to be completely covered but it was his ability to hold on to the ball that made Roy stand out early last year. I guess I don't care if he runs a 6.7 as long as he can grip a flipping football.

I think TO ran about a 4.56 and probably is not running that these days.

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Williams (6-4 5/8, 229) ran his 40s in 4.58 and 4.59 on a rubber track in Tampa on March 10. That's on par with what he ran at the combine on a faster surface. He did his other drills on the University of South Florida's soccer field, which was described as good grass but a little damp. He had a 4.23 in the short shuttle and a 6.98 in the three-cone drill. He had a 38?-inch vertical and a 10-foot-3 long jump, and was described as having great hands and excellent body control, and was good getting in and out of his breaks.


I'd take him

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April 19th, 2005, 2:51 pm
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40 times do not have much meaning in football. There are plenty of good RBs and WRs with that 4.6 number, although not so many CBs.

"He had a 4.23 in the short shuttle"

That is the thing that worries me. Pollack could sit on his hip pocket with his 3.9 short shuttle. A .33 differential between a DE and a top 10 WR?

Apparently the real concern with GMs is the weight issue. For some reason they think he will take on weight, making him slower still. I am not sure why they are worried about that. A character issue? Something physiological?


April 19th, 2005, 2:59 pm
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Here are the numbers for the top WRs

Mark Clayton 5-10
270-pound bench press ? 255-pound power clean ? 4.41 in the 40-yard dash ? 2.64 20-yard dash ? 1.53 10-yard dash ? 4.07 20-yard shuttle ? 11.08 60-yard shuttle ? 6.95 three-cone drill ? 36?-inch vertical jump ? 9-foot-10 broad jump ? 30 5/8-inch arm length ? 9 1/8-inch hands.

Mike Willams 6-4 229 lbs
-- 4.56 in the 40-yard dash ? 345-pound bench press ? 37-inch vertical jump ? 10-foot-1 broad jump ? 4.34 20-yard shuttle ? 6.84 three-cone drill. COMBINE -- 4.57 in the 40-yard dash ? 1.62 10-yard dash ? 2.69 20-yard dash ? 36?-inch vertical jump ? 34 1/8-inch arm length ? 8 7/8-inch hands.

B.Edwards 6-3 211 lbs
4.45 in the 40-yard dash ? Bench presses 225 pounds 22 times ? 33 1/8-inch arm length ? 9 7/8-inch hands.

Rhoddy White 6-1 201 lbs
4.45 in the 40-yard dash ? 31 5/8-inch arm length ? 9 5/8-inch hands ? Right-handed.

Troy Williamson 6-1 203 lbs
4.38 in the 40-yard dash ? 2.61 20-yard dash ? 1.6 10-yard dash ? 6.99 three-cone drill ? 37-inch vertical jump ? 33-inch arm le


What stands out to me of MW vs Mark Clayton is the 7 inches in height and the 4 additional in arm length. With the same vertical Mike Williams is grabbing all kinda stuff above Mark Claytons head. Not to mention that he was faster in the 3 cone drill than Mark and Troy Williamson. He is a much stronger bigger target with great hands and is fast enough. I wil take TO over Az Hakim any day. He is the tallest and strongest of the lot. He would create silly mismatches on the field IMO.

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April 19th, 2005, 3:16 pm
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Surprisingly, Williams has fairly small hands.

Hand size is a big thing for scouts, in WRs I don't know. But it's a huge factor for QBs. When they see small hands, they see fumbling...It could be something that helps make LeFors slide further than everyone thought.


April 19th, 2005, 3:24 pm
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Let me be clear. I have a hard time projecting MW's future in the NFL. That is why I started this thread as a question. Apparently the professionals disagree as well.

I am not saying MW is a sloth. He may be a good player. I am wondering, and leaning towards believing that he is not a good top 10 pick. That is not saying he would enjoy no success in the NFL. I do not believe he would be a bust.

There are two ways of looking at MW. You can look at his amazing college production and domination. Or you can compare him to players of his attributes in the NFL. What is Jureviscious' ceiling?

In a very good offense with a great QB, MW would be an immeadiate red zone threat. He could put up 10 TDs as a rookie. However, I doubt he would gain over 1000 yards. In comparison, Roy Williams or Charles Rogers have much higher potential. In the SF glory days offense could put up much more say 1900 yards, 19 TDs. Like the gargantuan TEs MW will have a hard time getting major yards, but be effective in the tight spaces of the red zone.

Here is why: in college MW bullied CBs that could not make the NFL. In the NFL he will face a Boss Bailey type of LB every week. That is a 6'3" 245 lbs player who is more athletic than him. He will have more difficulty getting separation.

Height just is not a big factor in the passing game. Sure you can throw it over 5'9" corners. The problem with throwing high is that MW would be killed by the safeties hitting him in the air. Also this would cause interceptions. Only in the end zone would his height and leaping ability make a difference. It is precisely there that he will be dangerous.

These are just my personal beliefs and it will be interesting to see if they are borne out. I believe Clayton will be a better NFL player and probably will be drafted first. Kiper will have to prove me wrong.


April 19th, 2005, 5:48 pm
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Gil seems to agree with me. According to his rankings Clayton is #2 and Williams #4, or a late first rounder.

http://www.nfl.com/draft/analysis/expert/brandt/wr


April 19th, 2005, 10:44 pm
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