Williams is very shifty, yet decisive as a runner. He does not make superfluous cuts in an attempt to make something happen. Instead, he uses his shiftiness to find the open running lanes. At 5’9″ and 200 lbs, he is not a big back. However, he’s durable running between the tackles.
Against Louisiana State University (LSU), he carried the ball 35 times for 198 yards and two touchdowns. He has NFL level endurance to be an every-down back in the NFL as well. He has the elusiveness to make defenders miss in the open field and has the understanding of angles to outrun defenders. The junior back is very patient in allowing his blocks to set up before hitting the hole.
As far as production, he has produced at a high level, rushing for 3,615 yards on 600 carries (6.0 yards per carry), while also scoring 34 total career touchdowns. His receiving numbers are average, but his yards per reception (10) shows he can be a three-down back in the NFL.
Williams does not possess breakaway speed that some of the other prospects in this draft have. Although he has never fumbled, he does tend to get a little loose carrying the ball away from his body, which can be corrected with coaching. Pass blocking could use some improvement, especially at his size.
Like most young running backs, he tends to lunge into defenders. Long term, lunging into defenders is destructive on a player’s shoulder, which shortens the careers of running backs. He is far from a lousy receiver, but he is not going to create many mismatch issues in the passing game.
Production does not lie when it comes to Williams, and neither does his tape. It is not often that player’s production matches his film, but in this case it does. His career average yard per carry (six yards) shows how successful he is running the ball. Size may worry some evaluators, but he has only missed one game and left a bowl game due to a head injury. For a smaller back, he has not missed much time at all.
The projection of a back like Williams is an every-down back with big play potential. Third downs should not be a hindrance to his snaps, as he is a capable pass protector and receiver. He should hear his name called some time day two, likely in the third round.