David Williams last but not least in Denver Broncos draft class
The Denver Broncos capped off their 2018 NFL Draft with the selection of David Williams. He was last, but is certainly not least…
David Williams was the final pick of the Denver Broncos’ 2018 NFL Draft class, but he’s also one of the most intriguing.
Williams was once a four-star prospect from the state of Pennsylvania, and committed to play at South Carolina in 2014.
After redshirting in his true freshman season at South Carolina, Williams played nine games as a backup running back where he averaged 5.7 yards per carry with a pair of touchdowns. His production took a bit of a dip the following season when his workload nearly doubled, but his yards per carry dropped under four.
As a junior at South Carolina, Williams found somewhat of a groove when he was able to be on the field for just nine games again, racking up three touchdowns and averaging 4.3 yards per carry as a backup.
With one year left of eligibility, Williams had graduated from South Carolina and wanted a fresh start. So, he transferred initially to UConn where he would be a bit closer to home, before ultimately choosing Arkansas in 2017 where Bret Bielema promised him a bigger role in the Razorbacks offense.
Bielema did not disappoint.
Despite Arkansas having a bad season as a team, Williams was able to showcase his skills for NFL teams and it ended up paying off for him in a big way.
Williams ended up setting career marks in rushing attempts, yards, touchdowns, receiving yards, and receiving touchdowns. He finished the season as Arkansas’ leading rusher with 656 yards on 117 carries, and did so with only one start in 12 games.
I hadn’t done any work prior to the draft on Williams, but it’s a good thing the Broncos did. This kid has got some serious game. It’s not really anything overly flashy, but I took a couple of clips from some of his games, and one in particular had a lot of highlight reel plays.
Williams’ three total touchdown game against Missouri was his second such outing of the 2017 season.
Williams shows really good balance on this particular run as well as quick feet and obviously he hits paydirt at the end of this with a burst of speed. At 6-feet, 224 pounds, Williams ran a 4.50 in the 40-yard dash at Arkansas’ pro day, which is a great number at that size, and he showed off his strength with 21 bench press reps at 225 pounds.
When the Broncos drafted him, John Elway called him a ‘big, bruising’ running back, and you can see some of what he brings to the table in that regard.
I like big backs who can give you this kind of burst:
Williams wasn’t wildly productive in college, but he did have 10 touchdowns this past season and six of them came in two games. In that same game against Missouri, he showed what he’s capable of as a receiver out of the backfield:
As a matter of fact, Williams’ production as a pass catcher out of the backfield was something that really caught my eye. He did this is a number of games, including another three-touchdown performance against Texas A&M, where he had some really nice routes out of the backfield.
Bret Bielema has always operated a pro-style offense, so Williams was asked to do many of the same things NFL running backs are going to be asked to do.
Pass protection is one of them.
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In this play against Auburn, Williams helps chip on fellow Denver Broncos rookie Jeff Holland coming off the edge, and then recognizes a defensive back re-routing and coming through the gap. He abandons Holland (after taking care of him) and throws a great block to keep the pocket clean for his quarterback.
This is really good stuff here.
Williams showed in limited snaps this past season a skillset that is coveted by NFL teams at the running back position. He can do a little bit of everything.
That kind of ability will get you on the good side of an NFL coaching staff quickly, and I can’t wait to see what he brings to the table as the Broncos approach mini-camp and training camp in the coming months.
They may have a real sleeper on their hands.