BIRMINGHAM, Ala. – Grambling State wide receiver Chad Williams was the first Southwestern Athletic Conference player selected in the 2017 NFL Draft, as he was chosen in the third round by the Arizona Cardinals.
The Cardinals selected the Baton Rouge, La. native in the third round with the 98th overall pick of the draft.
Williams is the first Grambling player drafted since 2006 when Jason Hatcher went in the third round (No. 92 overall) to the Cowboys, and is the first SWAC player selected in the draft since former Texas Southern standout Tray Walker was chosen in the fourth round by the Baltimore Ravens.
Prior to Williams, the highest a Grambling wide receiver had gone in the draft was 68th overall back in 1991, when Jake Reed was taken in the third round.
In his senior season, Williams won the SWAC Triple Crown of receiving, leading the league outright in catches (90) and yards (1,337), and sharing the conference lead touchdowns (11). He posted six 100-yard efforts, including a 13-grab, 152-yard performance against Arizona earlier in the season.
The FCS All-America selection from the Tigers’ SWAC Championship and Celebration Bowl-winning campaign began garnering buzz following exceptional performances against fellow senior prospects after being named as a late invite to the 2017 Reese’s Senior Bowl.
He further supplemented his quick rise up boards with a strong pro day performance at Louisiana Tech, where the 6-foot-1, 204-pounder posted impressive physical measurements. In addition to a 35.5-inch vertical, Williams did 21 reps at 225 pounds and ran the 40-yard dash in 4.37 seconds, a time faster than all but two wide receiver prospects that were invited to the NFL Combine.
For his Grambling career, he amassed 210 catches, 3,062 yards and 28 touchdowns.