Former USC star and first round bust Mike Williams looked fit and comfortable at wide receiver in the Pete Carroll's debut practice as the new head coach of the Seattle Seahawks.
Williams was one of 17 tryout players that Carroll and general manager John Schneider brought in for the three-day mini-camp. Other notables included another famous washout receiver, Reggie Williams (no relation), formerly of the Washington Huskies and Jacksonville Jaguars, wide receiver/return specialist Kevin Robinson and veteran guard Terrance Metcalf.
Though pre-draft mini-camps rarely provide much new information helpful in draft prognostication, I have to admit I was impressed in watching Williams' strong performance today.
While it wouldn't be accurate to describe his speed off the line as explosive, the 6-4, 235 pound Williams was faster off the line than expected and showcased the strong, reliable hands that had characterized his brilliant collegiate career. Williams caught every pass I saw thrown to him (25-30 passes total), routinely snatching passes out of the air. He showed good body control in reaching low, behind and high to snag poor throws. He also showed some vision and acceleration after the catch, weaving through the defense. Furthermore, he paid attention to his footwork as a route-runner, taking advice from veteran T.J. Houshmandzadeh, at times.
Williams was the No. 10 overall pick of the 2005 draft by the Detroit Lions. He struggled mightily acclimating to the NFL while in Detroit and fizzled quickly in Oakland and Tennessee, as well. He saw the most time as a rookie for the Lions, catching 29 passes for 350 yards and one TD in 2005. Since, for three teams, he's only caught a combined 15 passes for 189 yards and 1 TD.
Williams is a long, long way from making the team. He'll need to be impressive this week just to be invited to training camp. It was, however, an impressive start to what could result in at least some redemption.