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Mike Williams strengthens case as best WR in 2017 NFL Draft class

Posted Mar 17, 2017

Williams, viewed as one of the top WRs in this year's draft, reportedly ran a 4.56 40-yard dash

Clemson’s Mike Williams says he’s the best receiver in this year’s NFL Draft, and he was out to prove as much Thursday at the school’s Pro Day.

“That's just the mindset you have to play in the NFL,” he told NFL Network analyst Mike Mayock, “and wherever I go, I’m going to continue to work hard and they're going to get a hard-working guy.”

Williams strengthened his case after he reportedly ran a 4.56- and 4.58-second 40-yard dash, dismissing any doubt about the 6-foot-4, 218-pound prospect’s speed.

“I knew I was fast, I was hearing people saying, ‘Mike Williams is a 4.7 guy.’ That's why I was smiling because I knew I was faster than that,” said Williams, referencing his decision to not run at the league’s annual scouting combine earlier this month.

“So I just wanted to come out here and prove those people wrong, and I did that today.”

Williams is a big, strong receiver who was quarterback and fellow top-flight draft prospect Deshaun Watson’s favorite target during Clemson’s national title run last season (98 passes for 1,361 yards and 11 touchdowns).

Williams, who missed the 2015 season with a broken neck, caught 57 passes for 1,030 yards and six touchdowns two years ago.

Draft analysts project Williams as potentially a top-15 draft prospect, meaning the Browns — owners of the first and 12th overall picks — could add him to a young wide receivers room if they so choose.

At the combine, Williams made the case for his NFL readiness, saying he’s gotten the best of the best defensive backs in college football, including top draft prospects in Ohio State’s Marshon Lattimore and Alabama’s Marlon Humphrey.

“I come out and compete every day and have fun,” he told reporters. “Compete(d) with some of the best in the ACC, played against some of the best this year.”

Williams totaled 14 catches for 190 yards and a touchdown against the Buckeyes and Crimson Tide. It’s why he thinks he’s the best receiver in this year’s class.

“I just dominate the game in every area, I feel like if the ball is mine, that's the mentality you gotta have as a receiver,” he said. 

“I feel like if there’s one person guarding me, I’m open. I feel like that's just the mentality you have to have in the NFL.”

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