Mike Williams Workout: Mixed results

Much anticipated by NFL scouts, coaches and fans a like, sophomore receiver Mike Williams took to the field at the University of South Florida yesterday for a private workout. Thus far the reaction to his results have been mixed.

Just about all of the leagues 32 franchises were represented and teams selecting in the top ten of this months draft sent heavy contingents of scouts and head coaches to view the proceedings.

It was a gray, overcast day in Tampa with a steady wind and the conditions were not conducive for a sprint workout.

Measuring in at just under 6-feet 5-inches and officially weighing 228-pounds, the big bodied receiver looked to be in excellent shape to start the day. His weight was less than most scouts predicted but that was a pleasant surprise according to people we spoke with.

Williams then participated in the vertical and broad jumps, turning in results of 37-inches and 10-feet 1-inches respectively. Those were solid marks and on a level with the other top wide outs in this draft (Larry Fitzgerald, Roy Williams and Reggie Williams), who worked out earlier this month.

Outside on the track Williams ran the forty twice for scouts, once with the wind then against the blowing gales. His times were a respectable 4.58 and 4.64; depending on whose stopwatch you were looking at.

Williams then went on and performed well in pass catching drills, showing good technique and dropping only a few passes.

So, what was the reaction of scouts in attendance?

Many thought Williams workout yesterday solidified himself as a top ten pick, though no one would guarantee he'd be chosen before the sixth selection of the draft. Many now feel he is the third best receiver in this draft behind Larry Fitzgerald and Roy Williams.

Others though are not sold and feel he ranks fourth on their draft board behind Fitzgerald, Roy Williams and Reggie Williams of Washington. Several scouts we spoke with are concerned about the sudden weight loss; as reported yesterday Williams was close to 240-pounds just weeks ago. There is a fear Williams' natural playing weight hovers around 235-pounds, which most agree is too heavy for a wide receiver.

In the final analysis, Williams's workout gave no complete answers to scouts, which should come as no surprise. Teams are still in a quandary when it comes to the USC sophomore; do they risk an early draft pick on a young player who may need to find a new position in the NFL or suffer the consequences of possibly passing up a prospect that can be a dominant pass catcher at the next level?

And you thought this drafting stuff was easy!

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