In a short amount of time it appears that Denver Broncos rookie running back Javonte Williams is looking the part as a major contributor going forward.
Ever since Javonte Williams became a member of the Denver Broncos it seems there have been comparisons thrown around left and right about who he could potentially be in this league. Despite the running game needing some work, Williams is showing flashes of serious potential, and why the Broncos traded up to draft him in 2021.
The running back duo will take a little bit of some time to gel as a whole with the team, but it’s really easy to see why Williams can be a feature back in the NFL.
Williams came into the NFL from the University of North Carolina coached by one of the legends of NCAA football, Mack Brown. Brown has a history of coaching successful running backs at the next level: Jamal Charles, Cedric Benson, and Ricky Williams to name a few. Even his duo with the Tar Heels in Williams and Michael Carter, who should prove to be an impact player with the New York Jets at some point.
As for Williams, the rookie is already showing multiple facets of a game that can lead to a promising career. One of the first things that you see as a runner is his physical appearance as a back. Williams looks every bit of the part to be a star running back. As a former linebacker in high school, Williams knows exactly the type of punishment you have to take to play the position.
He is a bowling ball who also creates his own contact and bounces off defenders creating opportunities for himself.
Starting quarterback Teddy Bridgewater mentioned during a press conference that Williams reminds him of Alvin Kamara from the New Orleans Saints. Kamara is arguably the best back when keeping himself upright and maintain elite level of balance. Williams has excelled at this early in his career.
In two short weeks there have been long or short runs where a defender has Williams “dead to rights,” but Williams stays within his frame and keeps upright despite the contact. This is impressive as a running back because there’s always going to be contact, but the rookie’s willingness to keep himself in the position to get positive yardage is tough to stop.
Along with his balance, the Denver Broncos running back always keeps his legs moving. Williams absorbs the contact he creates or from others and continues to drive forward for positive yards. It does not matter the position. If you can always create positive yards for your team you will be successful.
Last is the pass protection. We mentioned earlier regarding Williams and playing linebacker in high school. The real test of physicality and awareness, other than tough yardage and absorbing contact, is through pro protection. The former linebacker knows how to pick up linebackers coming at his QB.
Already heading into week three now, Williams has shown so much potential of picking up free blitzers. It also helps Teddy Bridgewater stay in the pocket delivering strike after strike. The offensive line has certainly done their job some, but Williams deserves as much credit as any in helping keep Bridgewater clean on gamedays.
This is not a knock whatsoever on Melvin Gordon who benefits from staying fresh and capitalizing when his number is called upon. Both Gordon and Williams make a tremendous duo for Bridgewater to stay calm knowing he has two great backs who can do nearly everything well in all phases.
Two players who could be featured backs on one team is rare to find anywhere in the NFL.
Williams may be knocking on the door early to getting the start at some point down the line if this keeps up. Contractually Gordon might be on the short end of the stick, but he has well-earned respect for being a valuable member for how he played the last half of 2020.
It is just a great sight when there are two running backs who can work in harmony with the offense, offensive coordinator, and stay fresh on the sidelines. Both know their role with the Denver Broncos right now.
It will be exciting to see more of Williams, and how he continues to develop this season and beyond.