Notebook: Williams considered best receiver in the draft; McFadden is showing he's a solid corner

Posted Jan 23, 2013

Baylor wide receiver Terrance Williams is looking to prove he can produce in a pro-style offense while San Diego State cornerback Leon McFadden is impressing with his cover skills

Mobile, Ala. – Terrance Williams is considered one of the best receivers available in April's NFL Draft.

The former Baylor senior led the nation with 1,832 yards this past season on 97 catches and chipped in 12 touchdowns.

But despite that kind of production, there are still some scouts and NFL talent evaluators who want to see if Williams can have the same type of production in a pro scheme and not Baylor's read-option spread offense.

"I hope to showcase that I can run a pro-style scheme," Williams said after practice Tuesday. "That's something that I'm working very, very hard at. I'm in the playbook and learning the terminology and things like that.

"That was really the only problem (scouts and teams) had with me."

Williams has good size at 6-foot-2, 205 pounds and uses his frame well to shield defenders. He's also shown his speed this week, making several plays deep down the field. There are few holes in his game.

The Lions could be on the lookout for an outside receiver with such a skill set, depending on what happens with Titus Young this offseason, and Williams is a player who's projected to go somewhere in the second round.

The Lions have a lot of other needs, particularly on defense, but general manager Martin Mayhew said after the season that he'll never stop looking for weapons for quarterback Matthew Stafford. Williams is proving to be that this week, and the Detroit Lions are getting a close-up look at him.


Leon McFadden was recruited by San Diego State to play receiver but switched to corner before his true freshman season.

His first practice at cornerback in college, McFadden intercepted the first pass that came his way.

"It was a hitch and we were in man coverage," he said.

He earned first-team All-Mountain West honors in each of the next two seasons, starting every game, intercepting two passes each year and accumulating 10 tackles for loss and 27 pass break-ups. His 17 passes defensed tied for 12th in the FBS in 2011.

He defended 15 more passes as a senior this past year with three interceptions and two touchdowns.

He's one of those defenders who finds the football and he's been doing the same thing down at the Senior Bowl this week.

McFadden has been impressive over the first two practices for the South squad. He's stuck out the most among the South defensive backs.

Scouts are most eager to see how the undersized McFadden (5-10, 190) holds up against bigger and more physical receivers like the ones he'll see on the outside in the NFL. McFadden has to prove he can play bigger than his frame, which isn't ideal in the new NFL that's looking to get bigger in the back end.

"The most important thing about the NFL is that they want you to be consistent," McFadden said. "I'm out here working my butt off."

He said he came to the Senior Bowl to prove there is talent in the Mountain West Conference and he's not in the shadow of other players. He's doing a pretty good job thus far.


• Former Texas defensive end Alex Okafor (6-4, 261) finished his senior season with 12.5 sacks and 16.5 tackles for loss with little help behind him from a weak Texas defense.

He's carried that production in Senior Bowl practices. Okafor put an impressive inside move on Central Michigan tackle Eric Fisher (considered one of the top two tackles in the draft) on Tuesday to get to the quarterback. He also batted another ball down later in the team period.

The Detroit Lions are on the lookout for an edge rusher in the draft and Okafor is projected to be a late-first- to early-second-round pick.