Javonte Williams 2021 NFL Draft Overview
Position: Running Back
Weight: 220 lbs
School: University of North Carolina Tar Heels
2021 NFL Draft: Javonte Williams Player Profile
Javonte Williams is one of the best running backs in this class without a doubt. He was recruited as 3-star running back in the High School class of 2018 at Wallace-Rose Hill High School. Choosing to stay close to home, Williams decided to play for the University of North Carolina. Williams made an impact on the few snaps he played in his freshman season, recording 224 yards and 5 touchdowns on 43 carries. He was limited, however, due to the presence of the now Buffalo Bills running back Antonio Williams, who took a lot of his carries.
Williams then broke out in his sophomore season, making a huge leap. He recorded 848 yards and 5 touchdowns on 152 carries, as well as 14 catches for 152 yards and a touchdown. His play style as a bruising running back, able to truck through defenders making great plays at the perfect size for a running back, made him catch an eye from several NFL scouts and draft analysts.
Williams continued improving during his junior season in 2020. He recorded 1,140 yards and a whopping 19 touchdowns on 157 carries. He averaged an unreal 7.3 yards per carry during his 2020 campaign. He also had 25 catches for 305 yards and three touchdowns. His incredible 2020 campaign was enough to earn him several awards. He was named a second-team all-American by the Associated Press, as well as second-team all-ACC. He was also named a first-team all-American by Pro Football Focus, and was named their ACC player of the year as well. Williams definitely earned all these awards, due to the consistent improvement year after year through his career, which led up to his incredible 2020 campaign.
- Perfect size for an NFL running back, at 5’10” 220lbs;
- Ability to truck through defenders dominantly;
- Great balance even after strong hits;
- Great acceleration and burst, ability to get to the edges quickly;
- Good pass blocker.
- Not consistent as a pass catcher;
- Can’t outrun defenders when he gets into the secondary;
- Did not play well against Notre Dame, best defense he faced in 2020;
- Did not get much volume through his time at UNC;
- Not as fast as would be ideal.
NFL Comparison: Mark Ingram
Extremely similar build to Ingram. Both are smaller players who can run violently through defenders.
Projection: Early-mid 2nd round
Bottom Line on Javonte Williams
Javonte Williams can definitely be a team’s workhorse running back. The UNC product can truck through any defender, can get to the edges quickly on outside runs, and can be a great goal line back because of his power. Just for good measure, he can also catch some passes out of the backfield, although inconsistent. Not to mention he can be a solid pass blocker. He is just an all-around great running back, possessing every trait you could ask for in a back, aside from speed down the field.
Don’t be surprised if he is the first running back taken off the board. Teams may see his pure overall talent, and take that over other prospects like Najee Harris, who have been more productive but are less talented than him. Williams can be a great player, and it’s easy to see him as a 1,000+ yard rushing, double digit touchdown, pro bowl type running back. He is that good, and whatever team drafts him should be very happy they got their hands on him.
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