Why Javonte Williams was the right pick for the Broncos

2021 NFL Draft prospect Javonte Williams, Denver Broncos Mandatory Credit: Bob Donnan-USA TODAY Sports
2021 NFL Draft prospect Javonte Williams, Denver Broncos Mandatory Credit: Bob Donnan-USA TODAY Sports /

The Denver Broncos followed a surprising night one with another surprise move on Day 2 of the 2021 NFL draft, opting to trade up into the 35th overall pick to select University of North Carolina running back Javonte Williams.

“He was one of our favorite players in the draft”, general manager George Paton told Phil Milani following the selection.

While this pick, much like the Patrick Surtain selection, drew mixed feelings from Broncos Country, this really was the correct move for the Broncos, who look to finally kickstart their offense after years of one-dimensional football, the defense often having to carry the load in an attempt to win games.

With the departure of Phillip Lindsay, the Broncos’ depth chart behind Melvin Gordon looked pretty barren. Royce Freeman still has the opportunity to make a splash on this depth chart, but so far, he has not been able to conjure up much of the success he enjoyed in his Oregon days.

Meanwhile, Williams earned very high marks, drawing an NFL comparison of Kareem Hunt. A brute of a running back, Williams is difficult for just one defender to bring down. Even better, Williams is known for obliterating defenders as he runs through them. Williams will also come into his rookie campaign fresh, with just 366 carries on his career.

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Of course, this does not mean Williams is without his flaws. He does not have the best hands, and with his style of play can pose a potential risk for injury. However, of course, these issues can be rectified.

While it may not have been the type of back most would have been expected to replace the speedy Lindsay, it is a solid pickup, and it will be fun to watch this guy use his speed to bust through on goal-line situations.

It is likely that Williams has been selected to eventually be the premier back in Denver, with the future of Melvin Gordon up in the air following this season. For now, expect to see a season of split carries between the two, with Gordon being the back to take more receiving opportunities.

While the Broncos still find themselves needing a fast back, Williams will prove to not have been drafted as a Lindsay replacement, but as a potential Gordon replacement and perhaps future of this backfield.

He brings tremendous upside, and overall, this was a very right pick for this Broncos team.