USC's Williams Could Fall Into Lions Lap

<I>First in series of draft profiles</i> | While Detroit wrestles with trade offers and opportunities, one player seldom mentioned as a possible Lion is USC's big play wideout Mike Williams. Much more inside.

(ALLEN PARK) - An unexpected windfall could drop right into the Detroit Lions lap on draft day.

While Detroit wrestles with trade offers and opportunities, one player seldom mentioned as a possible Lion is USC's big play wideout Mike Williams.

Williams, 6-feet 5-inches and 233-pounds, is a big receiver in the mold of former Ohio State standout David Boston and Philadelphia Eagles star Terrell Owens.

He would provide Detroit with an imposing target in the seams and across the middle. Williams is the kind of physical receiver who can take a blow - or give one - while holding on to the football and making a play.

But while some of the league's top talent evaluators love Williams ability to catch the ball in traffic and make plays, some feel that he isn't fast enough (4.58 40-yard dash time) to make an impact at the next level.

Some scouts think Williams could even drop to the late first round, rather than be a top-10 selection.

"He'll probably go in the first round, but it might be late first round. He's not in the top echelon," an anonymous NFL GM told the Washington Post.

Despite that opinion, there is no denying that Williams has been productive in his brief collegiate career.

His numbers in USC's run to a near national championship last year are eye-popping. As a sophomore, the Plant City, FL native recorded 95 catches for 1,314 yards and 16 touchdowns. That kind of production is hard to ignore.

Indeed, yesterday Williams and Southern California teammate Kenechi Udeze visted the Lions headquarters in a "get to know you" session with Lions' brass.

While there may be some difference of opinion as to where Williams will fall, Williams personally isn't concerned about his ability to play at the next level.

"Yeah, this is a receiver-loaded draft," Williams said. "But I want to be where the competition is. I felt there wouldn't be a lot to prove (in college) without (other top receivers) coming back."

Even with the controversy regarding Williams' draft status (pending the resolution of an 11th hour appeal by the NFL over his eligibility for the draft along with former Ohio State running back Maurice Clarett), he felt he should take the chance of declaring now, rather than risking injury by playing another season of NCAA ball.

"Since nothing is really guaranteed in life," Williams said to the Los Angeles Daily News, "I just felt I was going to take my opportunity to go through a door somebody else opened."

"The kid's got star power," said Arizona Cardinals head coach Dennis Green said of Williams.

Detroit wouldn't mind seeing stars in the receiving corps this fall.

LION TRACKS: Detroit took a visit with another eight-time pro bowl guard, this time Dallas' Larry Allen stopped by for a visit. Dallas wants to deal Allen for a fourth or fifth round pick and with Detroit needing someone to fill their starting right guard position, Allen certainly fills the bill.

Detroit would rather not part with picks this year, but a future draft pick might be a consideration.

The NFL released Detroit's schedule yesterday. The Lions play their home opener against the Houston Texans on September 19. They open on the road in a potential road losing streak breaker against new head coach Lovie Smith and the Chicago Bears.

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