Javonte Williams was one of my favourite prospects coming out of college. The UNC star, who split carries with team mate Michael Carter, now with the Jets, has a running style that’s just a tonne of fun to watch. The Broncos obviously thought so too, trading up 5 spots on draft night, and sending a 4th round pick to the Falcons in the process, in order to draft Javonte Williams from under the noses of running back hungry teams like the Dolphins.
Williams was a consensus top 3 back in this years draft, along side Najee Harris and Travis Etienne. While the other two have had more time in the spotlight, playing for teams featuring in college football playoffs and national championships, Javonte Williams has been quietly working on his craft over in Carolina. He’s improved year on year, grading his highest in his third and final season, where he totalled 22 touchdowns, 19 of which were on the ground. Williams totalled over 1300 yards on the season, while taking split carries with Carter. Now imagine what he could do if he was the every down back on that team…
I studied Williams a tonne before the draft, and convinced myself he could be the best back out of this draft. I had this to say…
“I have to be honest, I kind of fell in love with this guys game once I started paying attention to it. Javonte runs with heart. He runs like there’s one job available and he’s going to take it away from you. He runs like he wants to make a career out of it. He’s a powerful body type, capable of running straight through you. He’ll see you coming, and just lower his pads and run right into you, taking you for a little ride. He’s a yards after contact guy. Watch his runs. Slipping tackles. Breaking away from guys. Bowling people over and just keeps on running. Very impressive.”
Williams took the early snaps in tonight’s preseason opener against the Vikings, in which the Broncos won the game 33-6. Williams handled 5 carries for 29 yards, averaging 5.8 yards per carry. Not to mention a rush into the end zone that was called back for a flag.
The Broncos obviously liked this young man, enough to give up a 4th round draft pick to secure him. With Melvin Gordon also on the roster expecting a heavy workload, and contributors like Royce Freeman, I’d expect Javonte Williams reps to steadily increase as the season goes on. He will eventually be the starter. The question is just how long will it take?
If Williams can get it going and produce the way he did in college, then his talent plus the amazing group of receivers the Broncos now have up in Denver, with the likes of Courtland Sutton, Jerry Jeudy, KJ Hamler and tight end Noah Fant… this could be one of the most fun offences in the NFL.
I love the debut from Williams. Exactly as advertised. Keep grinding rook!
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