Chances are you haven’t heard of a running back playing south of Salt Lake City down in Provo, Utah. Despite receiving offers from premier Pac-12 programs such as UCLA (mom’s alma mater) and Oregon, Jamaal Williams elected to takes his talents to BYU as “it felt right to [him]”.
Before diving into the California native’s film, I had the speculation that he was good based off word on Draft Twitter, but I didn’t think he was this good. I came away extremely impressed with Williams, and boy is a fun one to watch. It’s a shame that the season is over, although you still have a chance to feast your eyes on the BYU running back in the Senior Bowl.
In an RB class loaded with big names, he has flown under the radar. The lack of exposure he is currently receiving is appalling. I expect his draft campaign to vamp up as we get closer to April, especially if he puts up a good showing in the Senior Bowl. Currently a top 5 back on my board.
Name: Jamaal Williams
Class: Senior (RS)
Draft Grade: Day 2
Jamaal Williams never stops running. Tough, physical back who can keep a play going with his ability to bre… https://t.co/d4sHzmeMah
— Jonathan Valencia (@JonValencia_WiB) December 21, 2016
Positives: Physical yet smooth runner who runs with a purpose. Tough to bring down and demands gang tackles. Pulls the pile. Never stops fighting for extra yardage. Insurmountable toughness running the rock. Gives 100% effort at all times. Spins off defenders well. Remains upright with good balance after contact. Very strong. Can run it between the tackles or cut it outside. Hits holes hard with a lot of burst. Explosive burst running through the 1st level. Knows how to break through the line of scrimmage into space. Plus speed, quickness and lateral agility for a back his size. Sets his feet well and uses momentum to his advantage. Bounces to the inside off cuts well. Great vision and is quick to read blocks off the exchange. Good chunk yardage runner. Excels at the goal-line. Fumbled only 4 times on 700 carries at BYU. Reliable last resort for a QB in the passing game. Team captain. Willing blocker. Senior Bowl invitee.
Negatives: Doesn’t possesses breakaway speed. A non-refined route runner and not a natural pass catcher. Receiving productivity dropped under new head coach. Struggles to absorb contact when blocking and is often pushed back. Technique needs improvement. Not a 3 down back. Redshirted as a senior in 2015 citing “personal reasons” as the cause. Suffered a devastating knee injury which ended his junior campaign.
Outlook: Williams is one of the most overlooked RBs in a deep class. He’s a Day 2 talent, but will likely land early on Day 3 due to the depth in the class and lack of exposure. Had he played at a top tier school, he’d likely be considered a top RB prospect. Williams has the tools and makeup of a feature back on downs 1 and 2. His physical running style and blend of power and size will appeal to teams.