2017 NFL Draft

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Mike Williams

Height: 6-2 | Weight: 221 | College: Syracuse
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This very talented receiver had a bumpy ride at Syracuse, missing 2008 due to academic suspension and then quitting the team halfway through the 2009 season in anticipation of being suspended again.

A highly touted prep prospect, Williams stepped in as a true freshman to post the best numbers (24 receptions for 461 yards and four TDs) of any first-year Orange wideout since 1983. A year later, despite inconsistent quarterback play, Williams was one of the best wide receivers in the Big East, ranking ahead of future first-day NFL draft picks Kenny Britt and Harry Douglas with 10 touchdowns among his 60 receptions for 837 yards.

Before his junior year, however, Williams was accused of cheating. He spent a semester as a junior college and was re-enrolled at Syracuse last fall. After serving a one-game suspension for violating team rules early in the year, Williams led the team with 49 receptions, 746 yards and six touchdowns in seven starts before leaving the team for undisclosed reasons.

There's no doubting Williams' combination of size, strength and speed. But NFL scouts have serious concerns about his character and maturity. It seems unlikely he'll be a top 50 pick because of those concerns, but a team could get a good find in the second or third round if he decides he's ready to contribute.


Release: Shows good initial quickness out of his stance. Owns active hands and an effective wiggle at the line to minimize the effectiveness of the jam. Has the straight-line speed to challenge deep, even beating fast corners in press-bail. Shows good body control to change direction as a route-runner despite his long frame.

Hands: Secure hands to catch the ball in traffic. Protects the ball against his chest and can take the big hit over the middle and hang on to the ball. Good extension outside of his frame and body control to adjust to the poorly thrown ball. Times his leap well and catches the ball at its highest point. Good fade target in the red zone. Battles for the ball with good flexibility and the hand-eye coordination to track passes over either shoulder.

Route running: Good straight-line speed to challenge deep. Smooth acceleration and can throttle down, sink his hips and create separation out of his cuts with an explosive first step. Precise cut for the slant and square-in. Can stick his foot in the ground and leave the defensive back scrambling. Presents a large target for the quarterback.

After the catch: Big-play threat after the catch. Has some lateral agility to elude defenders, although he's not elite in this category. Used on quick screens despite his size. Strong runner who fights through arm tackles. Good acceleration after the catch and can pull away. Good vision to set up blocks.

Blocking: Marginal effort to block downfield, despite good size and athletic ability. Flashes physicality, but lacks consistency in this area.

Intangibles: Was suspended for the 2008 season amid allegations of academic misdeeds during the spring semester. Took classes at Springfield (Mass.) Technical Community College and had to earn back his scholarship at Syracuse. Was able to do so despite those who had suggested he'd transfer to a lower level to avoid the suspension or opt for the NFL's Supplemental Draft.

2009 Season

Williams quit the Syracuse team midway during the 2009 season. Williams, who did not play last year because of academic problems, was suspended for Syracuse's game against Akron for violating team policy. He ranks sixth nationally with 106.57 receiving yards per game and his seven receptions per game ties for 14th in the country. Both top the Big East Conference. He also had 20 touchdown catches in his career, tied for second all-time at Syracuse with Marvin Harrison.

One of the biggest enigmas going into the draft. Sat out all of 2008 because of an academic issue and missed half of last season after being dismissed from the team. Put up huge numbers in 2007 and for half the season in 2009. Has first-round talent, but Williams has many questions to answer about his off-the-field problems.

2008 Season

Suspended from Syracuse after 2008 spring semester under allegations of cheating. Missed 2008 season, attended a community college for the fall semester.

2007 Season

Second team All-Big East. One of nine players to start every game for the Orange in 2007; tied the Syracuse all-time record for receptions in a season with 60; finished the season with an active streak of having at least one reception in 20 straight games, good for fifth in SU history, as well as an active streak of having at least one touchdown catch in nine straight games, the most among active players in the nation; finished his sophomore year ranked third on SU's single-season touchdown list (10) and sixth on the career list (14); his 10 touchdown receptions were the most for a Syracuse player since Rob Moore had 11 in 1988 … Against Washington, finished with three catches for 35 yards and one touchdown reception … At Iowa, caught one pass for 12 yards … Against Illinois, had two receptions for 33 yards … At Louisville, made five catches for 83 yards, including a 17-yard scoring strike … At Miami (OH), caught five passes for 97 yards and one score … Against West Virginia, caught two passes for 97 yards and a career-long 61 yard catch for a touchdown … Against Rutgers, made four receptions for 28 yards and a first-quarter touchdown … Against Buffalo, hauled in seven passes for 113 yards and a 43-yard TD … At Pittsburgh, caught eight passes for 81 yards and a touchdown … Against South Florida, made eight catches for 99 yards and a touchdown … At Connecticut, caught six passes for 24 yards, including a two-yard touchdown in the fourth quarter … Against Cincinnati, set new career-high with nine receptions and 160 yards, hauling in a 10-yard scoring strike in the second quarter.

2006 Season

Led the team with 461 receiving yards becoming the first freshman to lead the team in receiving since Scott Schwedes (in 1983) … His 24 receptions and 461 yards both rank second in school history for a freshman and are the highest totals since 1990 … Ranked sixth in the BIG EAST with 46.1 receiving yards per game … Played in 10 games, including three starts … Against Iowa, caught two passes for 39 yards … Against Miami (OH), caught one pass for 13 yards … Against Wyoming, had three receptions for 36 yards … Against Pittsburgh, caught three passes for 57 yards, including his first career touchdown reception, a 29-yard pass from Perry Patterson in the fourth quarter … At West Virginia, caught three passes for 99 yards, including a 47-yard touchdown pass from Perry Patterson … Against Louisville, had a career-best five receptions for 98 yards, including a 37-yard touchdown catch … At Cincinnati, caught one pass for 31 yards … At South Florida, had four catches for 61 yards, including a 27-yard touchdown pass … Against Connecticut, caught two passes for 27 yards.

Off-Field Issues

2008: Accused of cheating, Williams left Syracuse and attended junior college for a semester.

2009: Suspended for one game for violating team rules. Later left the program, anticipating yet another suspension.

High School

Ranked the No. 10 prospect in New York by Rivals.com … Rated the 14th-best prospect in New York by SuperPrep … PrepStar All-Region … First-team Class AA All-State selection … Buffalo News 2006 All-Western New York selection … Had 970 receiving yards and 15 touchdowns as a senior to earn Harvard Cup Offensive Player of the Year … Also had 35 tackles, including 20 solo stops, and two interceptions … High school coach was Anthony Trulizio … Buffalo News 2006 All-Western New York boys basketball team selection … Recruited by assistant coach Scott Spencer.


Michael Anthony Williams … Born May 18, 1987 … Son of Mary Rosenthal … One brother … Majoring in communications and rhetorical studies.


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