A two-year starter at wide receiver, Williams followed in the footsteps of DeAndre Hopkins and Sammy Watkins as the No. 1 wide receiver in the Clemson offense and one of the best wideouts in the country (and will also follow Hopkins and Watkins as first-round picks). His 1,361 receiving yards in 2016 is the third-best in Clemson history just behind Hopkins (1,405) and Watkins (1,464). A four-star wide receiver recruit out of high school, Williams received offers from Alabama, Notre Dame and several other top-tier programs, but like many other South Carolina natives, his college choice came down to the Gamecocks and Tigers, leaning to Clemson at the final moment. Williams joined a loaded wide receiver depth chart in 2013 that included Watkins and Martavis Bryant, posting 20 catches for 316 yards and three scores as a true freshman. He stepped into the No. 1 wide receiver role as a sophomore and led the team in receiving yards (1,030), earning Third Team All-ACC honors. Williams suffered a serious neck injury in the 2015 season opener (12 plays into the season) and missed the remainder of the season, taking a redshirt for the year. He returned healthy as a junior in 2016 (15 starts) and led the ACC with 98 receptions for 1,361 yards and 11 touchdowns, earning first-team All-ACC honors.
Williams has the look of a NFL wideout with his combination of size, strength and coordination to make athletic plays on the ball look routine. He is physical to the ball to out-rebound defensive backs and is Mr. Reliable on back shoulder throws with his length, focus and body control, snatching the ball with ease. A combination of AJ Green and Michael Floyd, Williams has the physical ingredients to be a steady No. 1 pass catcher in a NFL offense.
STRENGTHS: Tall, filled out frame with developed muscle tone -- has added 40 pounds of bulk since high school. Flexible body control to effortlessly turn and adjust to the ball with a defender on his back. Strong-strider and accelerates well in his routes to trample corners. Large catch radius, using his length to pluck above his head or extend for diving grabs. Quick reflexes and sticky hands to make catches away from his body look easy. Trustworthy in contested situations, showing toughness, focus and finish. Uses his body to shield corners from the ball. Enough hand strength and wiggle at the line of scrimmage to beat the jam, using his upper and lower halves in unison. Functional strength shows as a receiver and as a blocker, eliminating defenders from perimeter run lanes…One of only three players in school history with multiple 1,000-yard receiving seasons. Finishes his career ranked third in the Clemson record books in touchdown receptions (21) and 100-yard receiving performances (nine).
WEAKNESSES: Lacks elite long-speed or the separation quickness to easily create spacing at the top of routes. Needs to sharpen his footwork in/out of his breaks to better hide his patterns -- NFL corners will pick up on his route tells. Will have the occasional focus drop through his hands. Room to improve his efficiency from receiver to ballcarrier. Will brace for contact and needs to show more power to finish with the ball in his hands. Uses his length and power to fight off press, but needs to improve his jam technique. Several fumbles on his film, fighting for extra yardage without protecting the ball. Medicals need examined after missing almost the entire 2015 season with a fractured bone in his neck (Sept. 2015).
NFL COMPARISON: Michael Floyd, New England Patriots: Williams has a similar body type, wins in similar ways and should be drafted in the top-15 like Floyd, although the Clemson product is more athletic and doesn't have the off-field concerns.