NAME: Trayveon Williams
SCHOOL: Texas A&M
POSITION: Running Back
JERSEY: No. 5
RECRUITMENT RATING: 4-star
WT: 200 lbs
Vision – Gets tunnel vision and lacks the instinct and full-field vision of a back who can create. Regularly runs his way into tackles in the first level given a dogged marriage to the designed path/hole; eschews backside cut lanes with disappointing regularity. Curiously, can see penetration happening and sometimes works against it, but at other times fails to feel defense collapsing all together. Zone running vision worse, as it stands.
Burst – Can hit the nos, especially on a straight line. High-waisted with long strides for his frame, which gives him some deceptive ability to eat up ground quickly. Excels at breaking angles outside the tackles by catching linebackers in bad spots and clearing their diving attempts with quick bursts. Ability to vary speeds throughout the first and second level helps him force tacklers into bad spots in general.
Change of Direction – Struggles here. Can’t stick his foot in the ground and cut upfield on zone flow; has to take multiple gather steps and re-orient his hips to get upfield. Does illustrate nice flexibility when dropping his hips to cut, but lacks ideal explosiveness on hard cuts. Stride length when slaloming through traffic can get too wide, which leads to laborious stop/starts. Best as a weaving type who can make slight redirections at top velocity.
Power – Has some thump but doesn’t blow you away. Rarely breaks tackles as a result of head-on power, and was taken down by multiple arm tackles, especially through the first level of contact. Best examples of power come when bracing for contact and using leg drive to finish attempts forward. Not as good of a short-yardage back as you would hope, given profile.
2nd Level Speed – Good to great here. Has a clear “next gear” when he gets into open space, and will not be caught in pursuit by most college level defenders. Can maintain speed throughout breakaway runs and has home-run ability if and when he gets into wide open space.
Contact Balance – The author of many of his explosive runs. Can fight his way through a lot of open-field tackles with a combination of burst and hip sink to force tacklers into diving attempts. Uses natural leverage well and can drop his hips to increase his leverage advantage when cutting back against contact. Contact balance not as prevalent in tight areas between the tackles, where he can’t build his wide base and drop his hips as easily. Vision problems also flare up here.
Decision-Making – Needs to illustrate more creativity and a greater willingness to operate outside of structure. Too often takes the initial path presented to him and fails to lace tempo or fakes into his angle of approach to help his blockers generate leverage points. Lacks the patience to sit behind blocks and let them develop; will elect to ram into a wall of players despite only possessing decent power.
Pass Catching – Has some nice flashes but is generally untrustworthy. Ran mostly linear routes (swing, wheel) and never illustrated separation ability. Often lazy and late into his routes, getting his head turned around after the fact and making life harder on both himself and his QB. Prolific screen game player who benefits from the long runway afforded him to reach full steam.
Pass Protection – Wonderful pass protecting back at the college level. Regularly takes on blitzers square, adjusts his feet, drops his hips, and meets contact with power and look to remain engaged. Able to identify and wash blitzers both from the interior and the outside, though sometimes fails to follow general inside/out rules and allows pressure accordingly. High effort in his chips and has planted much larger defensive linemen.
BEST TRAIT – Pass Protection
WORST TRAIT – Decision-Making
RED FLAGS – None
PLAYER COMPARISON – Wendell Smallwood
It’s tough to fully trust Trayveon Williams, who seems to lack the ideal vision and creative instinct of an NFL running back. Too often, Williams runs directly into a tackler or even a blocker, failing to give his offensive line time to develop the concept and create space for him; and when space is not created for him, Williams struggles to create it himself.
With a strong burst profile and good long speed in the open field, Williams is regularly looking to get vertical and hit the home run, and profiles best to a heavy power scheme that runs from under center; and with his pass protection chops, he certainly can carve out a role at the next level. But he can’t be trusted on zone runs yet, and he will fail to garner consistent touches given that he is not yet a consistent runner.
PROS: Although shorter, Williams frame is not frail. Has the burst and quick feet to get through creases up front, doesn’t need a large gap to get to the second level. Can redirect as needed behind the line of scrimmage, vision is generally strong and can find backdoor creases to get north. Has enough acceleration to bounce and win the edge when the defense over-commits inside.
Experience as a receiver is vast, both working from the backfield and split out wide. Was surprisingly adept in pass protection despite lack of size, showed good technique and tenacity to stay on blitzing linebackers. Improved his ball security significantly last season.
CONS: Smaller back without the size, power or frame to absorb a beating as an inside runner. Fails to break tackles and is regularly brought down by first contact. Seemed to predetermine going to the ground too often last season. Would have liked to see more fight through tacklers and better finishes. Pretty much got what was blocked for him all year, no more, no less.
Burst is fine, but has looked special in the past. Seemed slower and more hesitant in 2017. Generally shows good vision, but made 1-2 strange decisions as a runner in a couple of the games I watched. Seemed to indicate either a lack of understanding or a lack of communication around him. Takes awhile to cut and go as a zone runner, might be better suited for a downhill style despite his lack of power. Froze up on the second level too often last season, didn’t seem to access moves readily.
For all his potential and usage as a receiver (39 catches in two seasons), has really failed to make a big impact with the ball in his hands, totaling just 283 yards and zero touchdowns. Did not appear as elusive in space in 2017, failing to make defenders miss or show dynamic ability with the ball in his hands.