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NFL Draft

2021 NFL Draft Scouting Report: RB Javonte Williams

  • The Draft Network
  • December 21, 2020
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North Carolina running back Javonte Williams enters the NFL as an ascending prospect that increased his production every year in college and became one of the most dynamic runners in the nation in 2020. A big, physical, and powerful runner, Williams complements his bruising style with compact elusiveness which leads to frequent broken tackles and production after contact. An every-down threat, Williams is very good in pass protection and as a receiver out of the backfield. Williams is capable of ripping off big chunks of yardage with his ability to see the field cleanly, string together moves, take smart angles, and accelerate. The biggest question mark for Williams as he takes his game to the professional ranks is how he will fare without the benefit of the scheme and playmakers in place around him at North Carolina. His traits suggest he will do just fine with the transition but it’s something to monitor. Williams has the upside to become a highly productive starting running back in the NFL that is the focal point of a rushing attack. 

Ideal Role: Featured running back.

Scheme Fit: Williams is a fit for any scheme, but his skill set translates wonderfully to one-cut opportunities.


Written by Joe Marino 

Games watched: Virginia Tech (2020), NC State (2020), Notre Dame (2020), Miami (2020) 

Best Game Studied: Miami (2020)

Worst Game Studied: Notre Dame (2020) 

Vision: Whether it’s between the tackles or threatening the perimeter, Williams sees the field cleanly and does well to set up his next move. He knows how to effectively press holes and help make his blockers right. He has some one-cut-and-go tendencies, but that doesn’t mean he isn’t terrific in the open field. Overall, Williams sees the field well and makes great decisions. 

Footwork: Williams is a stocky and powerful back, but he also has quick and efficient feet. He does well to cut off his blocks with well-timed and compact cuts. Williams does a terrific job keeping his pads square and angling himself correctly through creases to maximize his carries. His feet are always active and engaged. 

Contact Balance: Williams features exceptional contact balance and defenders frequently fall off his frame while he’s seemingly unfazed. He has a low center of gravity, which helps him remain balanced through contact to pick up additional yardage. Williams is outstanding at breaking tackles and making defenders miss. 

Durability: Williams enters the NFL after 416 touches across his three seasons at North Carolina and still has plenty of tread on his tires. With that said, he’s never been asked to be “the guy” in the backfield, as he was surrounded by multiple NFL-caliber backs during his time at UNC. Williams avoided any significant injuries in college. 

Explosiveness: Williams has excellent burst for a back of his size which he maximizes with strong vision and good angles, especially when attacking the perimeter. He averaged 7.3 yards per carry in 2020, which is a testament to his ability to accelerate. He breaks an impressive amount of pursuit angles as he works into the second and third levels of the defense. 

Versatility: Williams brings value in any role and every facet of the position. He’s a strong inside and outside runner from either zone or gap concepts. He’s an effective pass blocker and a receiving threat. He can make an impact regardless of the scheme or responsibility. 

Elusiveness: Make no mistake about it, Williams wins with vision, power, contact balance, burst, and decision making as a runner. With that said, he offers a modest amount of wiggle and twitch to complement those strengths but it’s not a major reason why he’s such a dynamic weapon. He makes plenty of cuts outside his frame and he’s springy, but it’s important to remember what makes him effective. 

Ball Security: Williams had just three fumbles in 416 touches in college. He is deliberate about protecting and valuing the football. I appreciate that he isn’t overly eager to switch the football to his outside hand when it puts the ball in a compromising position.  

Passing Downs Skills: Williams brings value on passing downs in the form of both a receiver and blocker. In pass protection, Williams has natural leverage, a firm base, active hands, and plenty of enthusiasm which leads to consistent execution. As a receiver, Williams is a sufficient route-runner with reliable hands. 

Discipline: Williams does a great job of playing within himself but also producing big plays. While he does work to the sideline a fair amount, he isn’t overly eager and sticks with the play concept. I did not find myself disappointed in him seeking side doors while ignoring the correct track in my exposures to his game. 

Prospect Comparison: Nick Chubb (2018 NFL Draft, Cleveland Browns) 


TDN Consensus: 82.25 / 100

Kyle Crabbs: 84.00/100

Joe Marino: 83.00/100

Jordan Reid: 83.00/100

Drae Harris: 79.00/100

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