Javonte Williams Draft Profile
Javonte Williams is the hardest runner in this draft. He split carries with Michael Carter at North Carolina and is an extremely elusive player. In the NFL, Williams should be involved in a one-two punch and he can be a really good change of pace back. In his final season at UNC, Williams was practically a walking highlight reel. Williams can be a spark plug for whatever team drafts him and is a momentum switching type of player.
Running through contact is Javonte Williams’ specialty. It seems like he slips arm tackles every play, he’s just a physical runner. He has a mean shoulder that he’ll put through a defender and the way he runs is the NBA equivalent to posterizing someone. He takes the soul out of his opponents and it looks like a defender is regretting his whole entire existence when they have to tackle Williams in space. Williams is capable of making some crazy runs that will end up on House of Highlights, but more importantly he makes pancake blocks that will end up in the offensive line’s film room. His lower body strength helps him run and impose his will on a defender while in pass protection. Williams’ blocking ability will keep him on the field and he should be utilized a lot to chip defensive ends or pickup rushers. I love that Williams always finds a way to finish runs. If it’s with a stiff arm or just by lowering his shoulder, he knows how to make his presence felt. The most underrated rated part of Williams’ skillset is his short area twitch. Not only can he wiggle between the tackles, but sometimes he just does a little hesitation step that jukes defenders out their shoes. At North Carolina, Williams was underused as a receiver. He actually ran really good routes out of the backfield and is a legitimate receiving threat. Overall Williams is just an elusive offensive threat.
My biggest question surrounding Williams is his speed. He lacks the long distance speed that it takes to outrun defensive backs. For that reason, I believe he may struggle early on his rookie season. Until he gets faster, Williams won’t be able to break long runs. This could potentially put Williams into a box where he won’t be used on outside zone plays. He reminds me of a slower David Montgomery. Both backs are elusive and physical, but it took Montgomery a while to find his step in the NFL. Williams will be a late developer as a rookie, but he can be very special, especially if he gets faster.
Williams runs with so much physicality and tenacity, it’s a similar aggression as Derrick Henry. Arthur Smith needs his “Derrick Henry”, while I’m not saying Williams is going to be Henry, but they have similar traits. I’d love to see Atlanta draft Williams in round two. The Steelers just lost James Conner, Williams would be an upgrade from Conner. He provides more versatility and he’s got more juice than Conner. The Saints could also use Williams in a Mark Ingram type of role. Him and Alvin Kamara would be one of the best one-two punches in the NFL.
Contact Balance 10/10
Receiving Threat 6.75/8
Change of Direction 5/5
Pass Protection 5/5
Final Rating: 85
Pro Comparison: David Montgomery RB Bears
Team Fits: Saints, Falcons, Steelers
Draft Ranking: Mid - Late Second Round Pick
Draft Projection: Day 2 Pick