All over SBNation, the college blogs are helping out the NFL folks by providing them with some handy-dandy profiles on the players most likely to be drafted in the first couple rounds of the NFL Draft. Believe it or not, Syracuse actually has a couple guys that fall in that space. We began with King Arthur, we now move on to the enigmatic Mike Williams.
Measurements: 6′2". 204 lbs.
40 time: 4.49
2009 Syracuse Stats: 49 receptions, 746 yards, 6 TDs (in 7 games)
Short Bio: Syracuse fans will remember Mike Williams for two reasons. They will remember how he was supposed to be the greatest receiver ever to lace'm up for Syracuse University and they will remember how he screwed all of that up. That's not hyperbole. After his sophomore season, Williams was on pace to break every major and minor school receiving record there is. He was in the middle of a 9-game TD streak. He shattered the record for receptions by a sophomore and was on pace to obliterate marks set by Art Monk, Marvin Harrison and others.
And then Mike got caught cheating and got kicked out school, setting in motion a series of poor decisions that would derail the rest of his Syracuse career. After sitting out the 2008 season, Williams returns in '09 with a renewed sense of purpose. And he showed that on the field, garnering 45 catches, 713 yards and 6 touchdowns in the first six games of the season. He was on pace to not to break SU records but possibly Big East records as well. He was also in the discussion for wide receiver awards, All-American mentions and more.
Then Williams got suspended for the Akron game over unspecified reasons. He took to Facebook and mentioned that he might be fed up with the college thing. He later shrugged that off as a joke and SU fans assumed the worst was over. Then, two weeks later, the bomb dropped. Williams had abruptly quit the team. The reason? A pre-emptive strike to counter a suspension that was coming his way after being involved in a car accident in the middle of the night on his way back from a casino. Williams seemed to blame the coaching staff and claim he was unwanted. Looking at all of the chances he got from SU and all of the times he burned those bridges, that seems unlikely.
Strengths: He's a prototype receiver. He's big, he's fast, he's got great hands. On paper, he's a late first-round pick based on his talent alone. If he can get his emotions in check and grow up, he's as good a talent as any wide receiver on the board. Remember, he was putting up those gaudy numbers for one of the worst offenses in the nation, which means he was doing it even while being double-teamed and against the opponent's No. 1 DB.
Weaknesses: He might just be one of the worst decision-makers in the draft. For all of his talents, there's a humongous red flag positioned over his head right now. Quitting the team after his multiple violations was just the latest in a string of immature decisions Williams has made and it has to reflect poorly with NFL scouts. Throw in that he was caught cheating, that he's prone to violating rules and takes to public forums to vent his frustration and you've got a mix that makes NFL teams very nervous.
Prognosis: It's all going to come down to his interviews and his demeanor during workouts. If Williams can prove to teams that he's not a malcontent, he's still got a shot at the 2nd round. If he doesn't make anyone feel comfortable enough to risk it, he's looking at 3rd or even 4th round. Williams cost himself a lot of money when he quit on the Orange in the middle of the season, we'll find out just how much on draft day.