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Why Did Falcons Move Avery Williams to Running Back?

You don't see a player change their position every day.

It's not very common to see an NFL player switch positions after just one season in the league, but that's what went down last week when the Atlanta Falcons announced that 2021 fifth-round pick Avery Williams would move from cornerback to running back.

Tyler Allgeier

Williams didn't play much in the secondary during his rookie year, but played most of his snaps on special teams as a return specialist.

But the move is more puzzling given how the team is currently built.

The team didn't change much at cornerback this offseason, apart from signing Casey Hayward to a free agent contract. Hayward did leap over Williams in the depth chart, but there wasn't any cornerbacks in the team's draft class, leaving the second-year pro an opportunity to compete for a backup spot alongside fellow 2021 draft pick Darren Hall among others.

At running back, the team underwent a number of changes. Out went veteran Mike Davis, but in came Damien Williams from the Chicago Bears and Jeremy McNichols from the Tennessee Titans. The team also drafted BYU standout Tyler Allgeier in the fifth round. The team also has Cordarrelle Patterson and Qadree Ollison on the roster. That's five guys who could make an argument for snaps over Williams.

cord td pan
Damien Williams
Cordarrelle Patterson vs Jaguars

The one thing Williams has going for him is his speed. He ran the 40-yard dash in 4.41 seconds at his Boise State Pro Day last year and can be incredibly elusive in open space.

Maybe there's more than what meets the surface on this questionable position move, but if any team can convert a player into a running back, it's the Falcons. The team saw enormous success from Patterson last year, and maybe they're hoping some of that magic can be found with Williams.