Our 49 in 49 pre-draft series continues with a look at one of the best football players in Baylor history.
Robert Griffin III didn’t do it on his own. The 2011 Heisman Trophy Winner tore up the NCAA during his time in Baylor before emerging as one of the NFL’s most electrifying rookies in 2012.
When looking at the recent Draft prospects, it’s easy to see that Griffin was able to work with a stable of NFL-caliber receivers. Among them is wideout Terrance Williams, who figures to be one of the first receivers selected in April’s NFL Draft.
After watching college teammates Kendall Wright and Josh Gordon make successful college transitions in 2012, Williams is proud to be part of the pedigree.
“It shows we know how to make plays and we can go to different teams and do it,” Williams said.
Williams is hoping to follow in the footsteps of Wright, who was drafted in the first round by Tennessee before racking up 64 catches for 626 yards and four touchdowns, and Gordon, who totaled 50 catches for 805 yards and five scores after earning a roster spot as Cleveland’s second-round supplemental draft pick.
There was no more productive receiver in the FBS than Williams in 2012. He led the nation with 1,832 receiving yards, hauling in 97 catches and 12 touchdowns en route to being named a unanimous All-American.
Williams could have left Baylor early after his junior year to try and join Wright and Gordon in the NFL, but he was happy to finish out his senior season.
“It was very good,” Williams said. “My mom wanted me to finish school. I needed to be more consistent than last year. I got better week by week. I was more consistent catching the ball and being a playmaker. I continued to play to the best of my ability.”
Williams carried that momentum into the offseason, opening eyes during his stellar Senior Bowl week in front of NFL personnel. At the Scouting Combine, Williams checked in at 6-foot-2, 208 pounds, running a 4.52-second, 40-yard dash.
Most mock drafts peg Williams to be a second-round selection and one of the first few receivers taken off the board.
If there is a knock on Williams, it’s that he didn’t run complex routes and just relied on his straight-line speed to dominate defenders, something he might not be able to do in the NFL. Still, Williams doesn’t sound like he’s giving the doubters much credence.
“People say that I can’t do routes because just like I said before they’ve just seen me run straight,” Williams said. “If you talk to my coaches down there at Baylor, the stuff that they wanted me to run, they’ll tell you my running skills are good. It’s just a matter of time until people finally start seeing I can run routes. That’ll be the time that people will be surprised.”
Throughout the entire pre-draft process, Williams said he’s been leaning on Griffin and especially Wright for advice. If all goes well, Williams will join Wright as Baylor’s only receivers to be drafted in the first round in school history.
“We talk daily,” Williams said of Wright. “He told me to keep being me and to do what I’m capable of doing. He was my first friend when I got to Baylor. He’s helped me so much.”
Williams knows his strengths. When asked for a scouting report of himself at the next level, Williams didn’t hesitate.
“I can stretch the field in a hurry,” Williams said. “I like to compete. I can make plays when my number’s called.”