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Baylor WR Williams in first-round conversation

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Dan Arkush

darkush@pfwmedia.com
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By Dan Arkush

How hard a look will soft-spoken Baylor WR Terrance Williams get from NFL teams as a potential first-round pick?

“With my skill set, I do think I can be the first receiver taken,” the 6-2, 201-pound fifth-year senior said while holding court early Friday afternoon at a crowded table at this year’s Combine.

“I can stretch the field in a hurry and make plays.”

That Williams made a lot more plays in his final collegiate season than he had in any of his previous three years, when 2012 first-round pick Robert Griffin III was Baylor’s quarterback – he had 97 catches for 1,832 yards (18.9 yards per catch) and 12 touchdowns (a combined 23 the last two seasons) in 2012 – is a fact numerous personnel departments are sure to acknowledge.

Despite RG3 being replaced under center by Nick Florence this past season, Williams decided to return to Baylor for his senior year.

“My mom wanted me to finish school,” said Williams, who is considered a “solid, outside-the-numbers No. 2” by PFW draft guru Nolan Nawrocki. “Plus, I felt I needed to be more consistent, and I do think I got better each week. I just tried to do what I can do to the best of my ability.”

Williams admitted there was a big difference between Griffin III and Florence.

“Playing with Robert, you just never knew when the play would end,” Williams said. "Plays would typically last 9-10 seconds.”

Williams said he has gotten sound advice from RG3 on how to treat the Combine experience.

“He just said to stay cool and not take the process too seriously, and to make it enjoyable,” said Williams, who added that he also talks daily with former Baylor WR Kendall Wright, the Titans' first-round pick (20th overall) in 2012.

While Williams is considered as well-rounded as any pass-catcher available this season, there are some critics who believe he runs too many straight-line routes and needs to show more variation in his repertoire.

“As far as just running straight, I know I’m faster than most of the guys covering me, so why not?” said Williams, who left Baylor as the school’s career leader in yards, single-season yards, all-purpose yards, single-season receptions and TDs.

“Teams did try to double, and sometimes triple-team, me, like TCU. But our coaches did a great job of moving me around and creating mismatches.”

Williams said there weren’t any NFL receivers he particularly looked up to, but when a strong Texas-based contingent at his table mentioned Texans WR Andre Johnson, he didn’t hesitate to offer a positive critique.

“He has great size and is fast and physical at the same time,” said Williams of Johnson. “He does a great job of getting open from double- and triple teams.”

Would Williams welcome the prospect of being drafted by the Texans and groomed by Johnson?

“That would be great,” he said. “We’ll see what happens.”

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