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Mike Williams in NFL Draft
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Old 20 Feb 2004, 11:11 PM   #1 (permalink)
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Default Mike Williams in NFL Draft

Friday, February 20, 2004
Trojans receiver to enter draft after two college years

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By Len Pasquarelli
ESPN.com

INDIANAPOLIS -- Barring an unanticipated change of heart, Southern California wide receiver Mike Williams will become the first underclass prospect to enter the draft since the NFL was forced by the Maurice Clarett case to alter its eligibility rules.
Several sources here for the league's annual predraft combine workouts told ESPN.com that Williams, who would be regarded as one of the top receiver prospects, has decided to forego his remaining two seasons of college eligibility. He has not, however, filed the required paperwork yet with the NFL and will meet this weekend with his parents to discuss his decision.

In two college seasons, Williams has 176 catches for 2,570 yards and 30 touchdowns.

Williams, 20, is actually 3 months younger than Clarett, who challenged the league's eligibility rules and was admitted to the draft when a U.S. District Court judge in New York ruled the NFL guidelines in violation of anti-trust laws.


The NFL is appealing that decision but, because of the ruling, the league re-opened its draft deadline and players now have until March 1 to petition for early entry into the 2004 lottery April 24-25.
Because he is not yet three years removed from his high school class graduation date, Williams would not have been eligible under the NFL's former rules. Williams said after the Clarett ruling that he had no intention of leaving the Trojans, the defending co-national champions. But several general managers and personnel directors surveyed here Friday said they were not surprised by the news that Williams would be a part of the '04 draft pool.

Since he is not yet included in the draft, team officials and coaches cannot discuss Williams and his NFL potential. On Thursday, league officials told ESPN.com that no college or high school players had yet applied for inclusion in the draft under the new guidelines.

Some team officials acknowledged they have been contacted by friends of Williams, attempting to have them phone him and offer their assessments of where he might fit into this year's draft.



Len Pasquarelli is a senior NFL writer for ESPN.com.

http://sports.espn.go.com/nfl/columns/story?id=1740100


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This changes everything in the draft, This WR crop is the best I have ever seen with Larry Fitzgerald, Mike Williams, Roy Williams and Reggie Williams. Mike Jenkins from Ohio St. is a sleeper, he will be a star in the NFL.

My advice for the teams picking in the top 10, DON'T trade down. You will get someone good.
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