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Who's the best WR in CFB, John Ross or Mike Williams?


There is an interesting debate in personnel circles about the top wide receiver in college football. The two names mentioned: John Ross (Washington) and Mike Williams (Clemson). I've had the opportunity to see both guys play live this fall and study their games on tape. Both guys have unique skill sets and project like future No. 1 receivers at the next level. Here's the case for each guy to be considered the best at the position.

John Ross: Ross is an extremely explosive and dynamic athlete. He has blow-the-doors-off speed in his release and he can find an extra gear when the ball is in the air. I'd heard about his play speed before studying him, but I came away even more impressed with his route-running ability. He knows how to set up defenders, create leverage and efficiently get off his breaks at the top of his route. He doesn't waste steps and he generates a lot of separation underneath. He has outstanding hands and he keeps the ball away from his body. He is elusive after the catch and he has the speed to go the distance from anywhere on the field. He reminds me a lot of Brandin Cooks, but I think he's a more polished route runner than Cooks was coming out of college.

Mike Williams: Williams has ideal size and strength for the position. He's built like Andre Johnson and he throws defensive backs around like rag dolls. He scored a touchdown against South Carolina after carrying a Gamecock defender on his back for seven yards. He isn't as nifty a route runner as Ross, but he knows how to use his big frame to wall off defenders on slants, posts and go routes. He plays above the rim and has a huge catch radius. I love his toughness and competitiveness. I've heard scouts compare him to Kelvin Benjamin and Alshon Jeffery. I think he's better than Benjamin coming out of college. I would give Jeffery the slight edge in the hands department, but Williams is much better after the catch.

At the end of the day, you can't really go wrong with either of these options. It just comes down to what you're looking for. Do you need an explosive deep threat? Ross is your guy. Do you need a third-down machine and red-zone matchup nightmare? Go with Williams. I think both guys are going to be very successful NFL players.

Follow Daniel Jeremiah on Twitter @MoveTheSticks.



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