Carolina Panthers

Clemson WR Mike Williams solidifies top-10 NFL draft status with fast 40 at pro day

Mike Williams runs a drill during football pro day at Clemson on Thursday.
Mike Williams runs a drill during football pro day at Clemson on Thursday. AP

Clemson wide receiver Mike Williams didn’t pull a John Ross on Thursday at Clemson’s pro day.

But Williams, one of the heroes of the national championship game, ran fast enough to answer questions about his speed – especially for a 6-4, 220-pound wideout.

Williams ran two 40s in 4.50 and 4.49 seconds, according to the results displayed on the videoboard at the Tigers’ indoor practice facility.

A personnel official with one of the many NFL teams in attendance timed Williams in the high 4.5s, which still should solidify his top-10 status in next month’s draft.

Williams did not do the 40 at the combine, so scouts and NFL observers were eager to watch him run Thursday.

“People just wanted to see his long speed,” Clemson coach Dabo Swinney said. “He’s run by a lot of fast dudes, so they had times on him. They just hadn’t seen him run. I figured he’d be somewhere in the (4.5s).”

Ross, the former University of Washington standout, broke a combine record when he blazed through the 40 in 4.22 seconds in Indy.

But Williams is a different type of receiver – a physical wideout who is good at catching passes in traffic and with smaller defensive backs draped on him.

“We have the Mike Williams rule,” Swinney said. “If there’s only one (DB) on him, he’s wide open. If there’s two, they better be real tight on him. He’s a handful, and definitely NFL-ready the minute he gets there.”

Williams had a good day pulling down passes from Deshaun Watson on Thursday. His only drop was on a deep slant on a ball thrown behind him.

Joseph Person: 704-358-5123, @josephperson