Many fans of the Los Angeles Chargers feel that the team should select a wide receiver early in the 2017 NFL draft.
One of the names on that list could be former Clemson standout Mike Williams.
Williams was a member of the team that won the national championship last season in a classic game against Alabama. In that game, Williams caught eight passes for 94 yards and a touchdown. He is arguably the best receiver in this year’s draft and will almost certainly be selected in the first round.
To determine whether or not the Chargers should select him, let’s take a more in-depth look at what he did in college and what he brings to the field from a physical and athletic standpoint.
Games Played: 38
Receiving Yards: 2,727
These numbers would be even bigger if not for Williams missing basically the entire 2015 season after smashing his head against the goal post following a touchdown reception in the season opener. The freak injury resulted in a fractured neck, and many felt that Williams would never play again.
Not only did Williams beat the odds and return to the field, he put together a massive 2016 season that saw him catch 98 passes for 1,361 yards and 11 touchdowns. Those are numbers that would translate to a terrific NFL season.
Williams has great size at 6-4 and 218 pounds.
When you watch Williams play, he not only looks the part, he plays the part. His route running is solid and his ability to haul in passes is even better. Williams has a great pair of hands but his biggest asset is his ability to go up and bring down catches for big plays.
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No one likes to throw up the deep, jump ball more than Philip Rivers and like Vincent Jackson did many years ago for the team, Williams can go up and get the ball at its highest point. Few cornerbacks in the league are going to win that battle against him.
As noted in this scouting report by Lance Zierlein of NFL.com, he can become a tremendous force at the next level if he can become a little stronger and learn how to use his size to his advantage. Things will get tougher for him at the pro level, but he has the physical tools to be just as effective as he was while at Clemson, perhaps even more.
For a look at Williams showing off the abilities described above, click on the video below. You’ll see him make some very tough catches, show an ability to run with the ball in his hands and go up and high point the ball.
Should the Chargers draft him?
It does seem like the No. 7 overall selection may be a little rich for Williams, especially since wide receiver is not the Chargers’ biggest need.
However, he is the best receiver in this draft and including him in an offense that already features Keenan Allen, Melvin Gordon, Antonio Gates and Hunter Henry sounds pretty appealing. It would truly force opposing defenses to pick their poison, so to speak.
Personally, I think the Chargers should focus on another position with the No. 7 pick or even trade down in the first round to acquire more picks, but a selection of Williams would not be a terrible move, either.