NFL Draft Update: WR Derrick Williams
WR Derrick Williams (D. Purdy/Getty Images)
WR Derrick Williams (D. Purdy/Getty Images)
Senior NFL Analyst
Posted Mar 30, 2009


Scout.com's Ed Thompson talked with Penn State's Derrick Williams over the weekend to get the latest scoop on the teams who are showing interest and his reflections on his Combine and Pro Day experiences. The Indianapolis Colts have shown interest in this prospect since the Senior Bowl. Find out if they're still interested in this interview with Thompson!

Penn State wide receiver and return specialist Derrick Williams told Scout.com that he worked out for the Philadelphia Eagles a couple of days following Penn State's Pro Day. And he said his next workout is on Tuesday, March 31 with the New England Patriots.

Although he met with many teams during the NFL Scouting Combine in Indianapolis, Williams told Scout.com that a few of the teams who requested formal interviews with him were the Pittsburgh Steelers, Dallas Cowboys, Indianapolis Colts and the Oakland Raiders.

"I met with four to five teams every night. That was a great experience," he said. "I think that everyone knows that my character is among the best, so I think I handled myself well."

While some players are a bit star-struck the first time they sit down face-to-face with NFL head coaches, Williams said he wasn't in awe of them because of his experience at Penn State.

"No disrespect intended to all of those coaches, but I played for Joe Paterno," he explained. "And anytime you're in a room and Joe comes in, you say, 'oh man, that's Joe!'"

About a week prior to arriving in Indianapolis, Williams was struck by the flu, preventing him from working out and practicing during his final days before the big event.

Although he was advised by his agent and others close to him to skip the workouts in Indianapolis since he was still sick, Williams was torn. He had been working hard to prepare for the Combine and had been putting up good numbers in his practice sessions before catching the flu.


AP Photo/Andy Manis

"I was looking forward to getting it over with, and I thought that I could do it. I really wanted to perform in front of everybody that was there," he said. "But I had the flu and I had bronchitis, so when I was running, I couldn't breathe, I couldn't catch my breath. I was exhausted and dehydrated. I was trying to push through it and fight through it."

Williams ended up feeling worse as the days wore on. As a result, he second-guessed his decision.

"I felt kind of stupid for going against the advice that everyone had given me, but once you get that itch to perform, you just go out there and do your best."

Williams improved on all of his Combine numbers at his Pro Day, and participated in events that he wasn't able to complete in Indianapolis due to his health.

"I think I did pretty good, I knew that once I got to where I was feeling 100 percent that everything was going to be better."

With all of those events in the rear-view mirror, the talented receiver is taking everything one day at a time, preparing for workouts, visits or whatever else he needs to do to secure his roster spot with an NFL team at the end of April.

"You never know how this thing is going to work out," he said. "All you can do is sit down and pray about it and continue to work, because the big thing is it's not about the Combine, it's not about your Pro Day, it's about what you do in that first minicamp and carrying that over into preseason. And then it's about trying to help your team during that first year the best you can."

Learn more about Derrick Williams by visiting his player profile page.

Click here for more coverage of your favorite NFL team.

A member of the Pro Football Writers of America, Ed Thompson's player interviews and NFL features are published across the Scout.com network and at FOXSports.com. You can follow him on Twitter or Facebook. Or contact him by email through this link.


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