I like the look of Javonte Williams. He’s a fun back, with the way he initiates contact and runs people over. Reminds me of Marshawn Lynch.
When I was looking at the running backs last year, Zack Moss stood out as the one who in college broke the most tackles, with a bunch of plays where he was hit by defenders but still able to bull into the end zone.
Williams looks like this year’s Moss, but a slightly larger version. Moss (who had a nice rookie season) is listed at 205 pounds. Williams is listed at 212 but looks bigger – he’s a thick cut guy.
Williams was a time-share back at North Carolina last year, and he did well with his opportunities, running for 1,140 yards and 19 TDs while averaging 7.3 per carry. He also caught 25 passes for 305 yards and 3 TDs.
In Denver (which traded up to select him early in the second round) I expect he’ll share time with Melvin Gordon. Gordon has the considerable edge in experience, while I think Williams might run with a little more juice while he’s in there.
With Williams’ tackle-busting ability, I think there’s some chance he’ll become their most popular runner in goal-line situations. Gordon has tended to be below-average in those kind of situations. Gordon actually weighs a little more than Williams but isn’t as thick.
Below see conversions rates for running backs over the last four years when they’ve needed to pick up a tough yard. This is a composite of third-and-one and fourth-and-one plays, along with all carries at the 1-yard line. There are 46 backs with at least 20 such attempts, and Gordon ranks 30th.
I will admit this isn’t a killer chart. I expected Gordon to rank a little lower. (Ideally when you’re doing these charts, you want your targeted player to be exposed as a top-5 or bottom-5 guy.) And it looks kind of dumb with Javorious Allen and Duke Johnson up there at the top (Duke Johnson in particular isn’t a back anybody wants to see on the field on fourth-and-one.) But whatever. Gordon (I think) is below-average on those kind of plays, and I think there’s a chance it won’t be long before the Broncos start using Williams more in those situations.
|"AND ONE" RUSHING (last 4 years)|