"That won't get him into the first round," said the coach.
For his part, Williams says he isn't worried where he's drafted. He just wants in. Williams said Atlanta Falcons president Rich McKay mentioned to him and other draft hopefuls Thursday night that it's not where you're drafted, but rather what you do when you get into the league.
That's all well and good, but the money difference between being a top-10 pick and a late first-round pick is millions. And that can be money players never get back.
"It's a blessing to be here," Williams said. "Whether I go top five, top 10 or top 20, it doesn't really matter."
It will on draft day if he does stay on the board longer than many expect. Some have him pegged to go to the Minnesota Vikings with the seventh overall pick, one they acquired from Oakland for Randy Moss -- although that would hinge on an explosive 40 time. The thinking is Williams will fill Moss's shoes, something that was mentioned when Williams met with Vikings coach Mike Tice Thursday night.
"I told him I wouldn't be trying to fill Randy Moss's shoes," Williams said. "Those shoes are cut to his feet. I think I'll bring my pair. I'll bring my own attitude, my own playing style and my own demeanor. Just be me. The comparisons are inevitable. You're going to get them no matter what team you go to. At the end of the day, you still have to put in the work and establish your own identity."
Williams brings that type of thoughtfulness to a lot of his answers. He is glib, fun and seems to have a passion for the game. He will be a coach's delight.
What's even more telling about him as a person is there is no bitterness because he was sent to football limbo for a year, despite his missing out on a national championship at Southern California and potential millions as a rookie in the NFL.
Instead he used the year to get better. He consulted with doctors, dieticians and trainers to sculpt his body. He said he was down to 216 in November but re-gained some weight before the combine to get to 225 and then weighed in at 228 Thursday, saying the food provided by the league was too good to pass up.
He does plan to cut some weight before his March workout, which might be a good idea to help that 40 time.
As a sophomore at USC in 2003, he showed big-time ability, at times dominating the competition. He was a man against boys, using his size to help him catch 95 passes for 1,314 yards and 16 touchdowns. But scouts worried then -- and still do -- about his speed to run by defenders. It was more of a physical thing than a speed thing for him at USC.
That impressive season in 2003, coupled with Ohio State's Maurice Clarett challenging the NFL's draft rules forbidding players who were not three years removed from their high school graduation to enter, led Williams to say he was leaving school. When the court ruling ended his chances to turn pro, he was not allowed back at USC because he has signed with an agent.
Now 13 months from catching a pass that mattered, Williams came here as the unknown quantity. He left much the same way.
Until he clocks that 40 time, his draft status will be where he has been for the past year: in football limbo.
Interestingly enough, as Williams ended his session with the media, South Carolina receiver Troy Williamson stepped to the podium. The mob around Williams left, leaving Williamson to a handful of reporters.
The odd thing is that Williamson will likely be drafted ahead of Williams for one main reason. He can run.
"I've run 4.34," Williamson said.
Speed, you see, still kills.
Mike Williams has to hope that's in a good way come March -- not killing his chances to be a first-round pick.