Early yesterday afternoon, it was former Clemson football quarterback Trevor Lawrence leading the Jacksonville Jaguars to a comfortable 36-22 win over the Tennessee Titans in Nashville and last night Clemson players continued to show out in the NFL with all-star performances from Mike Williams of the Los Angeles Chargers and Christian Wilkins of the Miami Dolphins.
The Chargers beat the Dolphins 23-17 behind a big day from Justin Herbert, but Williams was in the middle of the action early and often, hauling in 6 passes for 116 yards and a touchdown on the evening.
With 10 minutes to go in the 2nd quarter and the Chargers up 3-0 facing a second and 8 from the Dolphins 10, Herbert rolled right after a play fake and found Williams near the back of the end zone surrounded by Dolphins.
Later in the third quarter with the score 17-14 Chargers, Herbert fired this bullet across the field and found Williams for a 55 yard gain.
Williams missed two games with a high ankle sprain, but still has 44 receptions on 66 targets, for 626 yards and 4 touchdowns on the season as the 7-6 Chargers fight for a playoff spot.
Last offseason Williams signed a 3 year, $60,000,000 contract, including a $21,000,000 signing bonus, $40,000,000 guaranteed, and an average annual salary of $20,000,000.
Williams was the No. 7 overall pick in the 2017 NFL draft after helping Clemson defeat Alabama in the 2016 National Championship.
Wilkins was a disruptive force all night for Miami, totaling 6 solo tackles, 3 assists, a sack, 2 tackles for loss and a quarterback hit.
The TV crew of Mike Tirico and Cris Collinsworth were effusive in their praise of Wilkins throughout the broadcast.
On the season Wilkins has 75 tackles, 2.5 sacks, a forced fumble and 2 passes defensed.
Wilkins, the No. 13 overall pick in the 2019 NFL Draft is in the fourth year of his $15.4 million rookie contract and is scheduled to make over $10.7 million in 2023 alone.
Former Clemson football stars Mike Williams and Christian Wilkins earned their salaries on Sunday Night Football
There are times when the outstanding efforts are lost in the pile of NFL highlights when there are 7 or 8 games going simultaneously, but the island games – those played when no others are going on – always bring more eyes and scrutiny, either good or bad.
For Williams and Wilkins it was all good as both showed why they were first round draft picks in prime time.