The skinny kid from Baltimore who used to stand in front of the mirror looking for new muscles will move gracefully from college basketball to the professional game Monday afternoon, and he will do so from a position of sheer strength. Georgetown all-America Reggie Williams will sit in the Felt Forum at New York's Madison Square Garden and hear his name called early in the first round of the NBA draft.

Unless the desperate and troubled Phoenix Suns throw the entire NBA draft out of whack with a late trade or a surprise draft selection, indications are that Williams could become a New Jersey Net right around lunchtime.

The San Antonio Spurs say they are committed to taking Navy's 7-footer, David Robinson, with the No. 1 pick. And Phoenix apparently went into the weekend still trying to decide between the draft's best power forward, Armon Gilliam, and the most polished off-guard player, Dennis Hopson, if it doesn't trade the pick.

New Jersey, which holds the No. 3 pick, is looking for someone who can perhaps replace swing man Albert King and/or take over the off-guard spot if disgruntled veteran Otis Birdsong does not rejoin the team. What the Nets are looking for, then, is versatility. And Williams is probably the most versatile player in the draft.

"Reggie, besides being gifted, plays with a sense of urgency. He plays with fire and we really need that on this team," said Harry Weltman, New Jersey's new general manager. But Weltman added that his team is still considering Hopson and Derrick McKey of Alabama. Nets Coach Dave Wohl is equally high on Williams, who led his Georgetown team in scoring and rebounding as a junior and senior after being the freshman wunderkind of the Hoyas' 1984 national championship team.

"Everything is very uncertain about my life right now, but at least I'll know by Monday," Williams said recently. "Everybody keeps asking me which position I'd rather play, the 2 {off guard} or the 3 {small forward}. And I keep saying, 'It doesn't make any difference to me.' I'll play hard and I'll play to win, no matter where I get picked or who picks me. I told David {Falk, the attorney from ProServ who will represent him} I'm not going to lose any sleep, either, if I don't go in the top three or four picks."

It seems unlikely that Phoenix will use the No. 2 pick in the first round to take Williams. The Suns scheduled UNLV's Gilliam and Ohio State's Hopson for second interviews this weekend, but not Williams. And it seems that the Suns weren't completely satisfied with the results of Williams' recent strength and flexibility tests.

Reports from around the NBA in the past few weeks indicated Williams was slipping slightly in popularity. Team scouts, personnel directors and general managers came back from the pre-draft camps in Portsmouth, Va., Chicago and Hawaii supposedly in love with such new names as Scottie Pippen of Central Arkansas. One publication, in its draft preview, even projected Williams would be selected by Indiana with the 11th pick, after Pippen.

Boston Celtics scout Ed Badger, asked recently about Williams' draft status, said, "You mean have I heard that he's slipping? I have. That's the disease of the draft. It happens every year; you hear about this player or that player sliding. But two days later a guy can slide back up.

"I think Reggie will be primarily a 2 guard," Badger said. "But he can play the 3 with some teams. He's got good range, he's very quick, he can play some good defense. People have expressed some concern about his body, but that {strength} will come naturally. I saw him quite a bit at the end of the {college} season. He's a fine player. I have no doubt about him being a really, really good pro. I hope he is slipping. I hope he slides all the way to No. 22 {which is where the Celtics pick}, but I know that won't be the case."

Williams' biggest asset -- his versatility -- may have caused some confusion among the NBA scouts. He may not pass the ball as well as Hopson, rebound as well as Gilliam, handle the point duties as well as Kenny Smith or shoot quite as well as Reggie Miller. But none of them can do all the things Williams can do.

With New Jersey, for example, Williams could play small forward if King (a free agent) doesn't return or isn't productive. He could wind up playing some point forward, depending on the status of Dwayne (Pearl) Washington, who had a disappointing rookie season, or take over the shooting-guard duties if Birdsong isn't around. And from any of those positions Williams can rebound better than the person he would be replacing.

"Reggie does a lot of everything," Falk said. "But instead of that versatility and diversity being a positive, the teams don't know where to pigeon-hole him. There's no neat compartment for Reggie. Because there's not just one phase of his game that stands out, it confuses people. . . ."

Williams laughed last week when asked what he thought of the entire pre-draft process. He has been examined and interviewed many times, by several NBA clubs. "To tell you the truth, I'll be glad when this is over," he said. "It's really interesting, though. Last year, I wasn't really into all the background and what went into the draft. But this year, I've been asking more questions, now that I'm involved . . . . The interesting thing is how the pro guys evaluate the college players . . . . It's so unpredictable."

Many teams would love to have Williams. Tom Newell, assistant coach at Seattle, said the SuperSonics would love for Williams' name to still be on the board when they make the No. 5 selection. "He's in a superstar class, I believe," Newell said. "He finds a way to beat you and there are not a lot of players I can say that about {going into draft day} the last six or seven years.

"Whether Reggie or anybody else will be an impact player depends, of course, on the team. But I know he's a quality guy. We know he has his head screwed on right. He's not going to groan about where he's going or what he's going to do. All Reggie wants is to make sure the lights are on when he steps into the arena."

Newell has heard the questions about Williams' lack of visible muscle, but said, "His heart makes up for whatever he lacks in strength. And he can play two positions. He's too smart a player for too many teams to pass up."

John Thompson, Williams' coach at Georgetown the past four years, said he told his star pupil, "It's not what pick you are, but who you go with. The position in which you're drafted only satisfies your ego and your pockets. The important thing is to get some reasonable playing time for a rookie."

Thompson added: "Reggie, I think, is going to be an outstanding pro. Here's a kid that showed he had the stomach {to play gracefully under pressure} as a freshman {when he led his team in scoring in the 1984 NCAA title game}. He's a top-flight competitor. And there are a lot of people in the NBA right now who Reggie has played very well against, including Akeem {Olajuwon}. Nothing in the NBA surprises me. But I would hate to be the guy, three years from now, who had to go to his boss and explain why he passed on Reggie Williams."