As two of the top prospects in the 2017 NFL Draft and potential first-round picks, Deshaun Watson and Mike Williams didn't have a great deal to prove Thursday at Clemson's pro day. But that doesn't mean NFL scouts weren't heavily interested in their performance (an estimated 100-plus NFL personnel were on hand), and both tried to answer final scouting questions about their potential as pros.
A few key points of interest at Clemson's pro day:
1. Watson's passing drills. The task was to show scouts that his transition from a spread offense to the pro-style game will be a smooth one. NFL Network draft expert Mayock was generally impressed with the dual-threat quarterback.
"Pro days are a little deceiving -- sometimes I think we overrate them for quarterbacks -- but I was hoping to see two things from Deshaun Watson. One, the progression of his footwork (from) under center ... and I thought he looked good. When the feet were consistent, the accuracy was there. When the feet get a little bit sloppy, he loses some of his accuracy. But on the whole I thought he had a powerful physical performance," Mayock said. "The second piece of it is, how does he interact with teammates? ... He's not a yeller and a screamer. He's a quiet leader. Everything about what he did was quiet confidence, and I like his demeanor a lot."
2. Williams' speed. It was all about his 40-yard dash time, which was the subject of much anticipation because he skipped the event at the NFL Scouting Combine earlier this month. Reports of Williams' 40-yard dash were a bit scattered, which is to be expected with so many thumbs on so many stopwatches, but NFL.com senior analyst Gil Brandt reported official times of 4.51 and 4.53 seconds, while Mayock had Williams at a 4.55, and liked what he saw.
"Mike Williams today at 216 pounds ran a 4.55. Plenty good enough for the type of receiver he is," Mayock said. "What is he? He's an outside the numbers fade, fade stop, back shoulder, red-zone guy. He's got an attitude. He gets after the football. He's a first-round wide receiver all day long."
3. Big day for Watkins. DT Carlos Watkins only participated in the bench press at the combine, so Thursday was of great importance to him. He ran 40-yard dashes of 5.06 and 5.08 seconds, with a 28-inch vertical jump and a 9-6 broad jump, per Brandt.
5. Leggett checks the 40-yard dash box. TE Jordan Leggett went through all combine drills in Indianapolis except for the 40-yard dash, and turned in times of 4.75 and 4.79 on pro day. He also repeated a few drills from the combine, but fared slightly worse than his combine results in the short shuttle (4.49), broad jump (9-11) and 3-cone drills (7.24).
6. Strong attendance. Four head coach-GM tandems attended Clemson's pro day, per Brandt: Mike Tomlin/Kevin Colbert (Steelers), Jim Caldwell/Bob Quinn (Lions), Mike Mularkey/Jon Robinson (Titans) and John Fox/Ryan Pace (Bears).
Here are some things we learned from other pro-day workouts on Thursday:
Penn State: Godwin setting calendar
Big draw:WR Chris Godwin
Don't forget:DE Garrett Sickels
The skinny:Nittany Lions WR Chris Godwin stood on his combine numbers, but went through position drills. He reportedly has nine private workouts scheduled with NFL clubs, including the Pittsburgh Steelers and Philadelphia Eagles. ... DE Garrett Sickels was much more active on pro day, including another crack at the 40-yard dash (4.81). ... Former Cincinnati QB Gunner Kiel was scheduled to throw passes to PSU receivers, but was scratched.
Vanderbilt: Belichick works with Cunningham
Big draw:LB Zach Cunningham
Don't forget:OL William Holden
Attendance:Among a reported 24 NFL clubs represented at Vanderbilt, New England Patriots coach Bill Belichick and New York Giants GM Jerry Reese were among them.
The skinny:Cunningham left only one box unchecked at the combine -- the 60-yard shuttle -- and began his day with that drill on Thursday. The Commodores' top draft prospect also got some personal instruction from Belichick during position drills. ... OL Andrew Jelks turned in a vertical jump of 29 inches.
Illinois: Smoot reaches bench-press goal
Big draw:DL Dawuane Smoot
Don't forget:DL Chunky Clements
Attendance:31 clubs were represented.
The skinny:Smoot stood on his combine numbers except for the bench press, where he pushed out 21 reps at 225 pounds, and also went through position drills. Smoot said he hit his mark with the bench-press performance.
Also in action Thursday: Arizona State, Central Arkansas, Ouachita Baptist, Oregon, Pittsburgh State, St. Francis (Pa.), Virginia, William & Mary.
On deck for Friday:Arkansas State, Bucknell, Georgia Tech, Kennesaw State, Middle Tennessee, Northern Arizona, Old Dominion, Oregon State, Tennessee State.*