2021 NFL Draft Prospect Profile: RB Javonte Williams, North Carolina

If the Giants are looking for more of a Saquon Barkley clone in terms of build as backup to Barkley, Javonte Williams might be worth a look.
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RB JAVONTE WILLIAMS 

Height: 5'10"
Weight: 220 lbs.
Class: Junior
School: North Carolina


A former three-star recruit out of Wallace-Rose Hill High School in Wallace, North Carolina, where he won four straight state titles for the program.

Williams had a ridiculous senior season after Antonio Williams left the program; Williams shared the backfield with star, shifty, running back Michael Carter, but Javonte Williams rushed for 1140 yards (7.3 yards per carry), 19 touchdowns, and 25 catches for 305 yards (3 touchdowns) in 11 2020 contests.

Williams had great statistics in his freshman and sophomore seasons as well. He finishes his time with the Tar Heels with 2297 rushing yards, 29 touchdowns, 50 catches, 539 yards, and four receiving touchdowns in 34 games.

The Tar Heels feature a heavy gap/power, pin-pull, offense similar to Jason Garrett’s squad with the Giants.

Traits

Excellent NFL size with a compact, muscular frame and thick lower half. Good overall athletic ability; has solid speed, isn’t a burner, but possesses good quickness, acceleration, and burst through the hole.

He isn’t as shifty as his teammate Michael Carter, but he does well enough in space. He has a good jump-cut and one-cut ability--he sticks his foot in the ground and uses good burst to hit holes when recognized. He has NFL athletic traits that translate well, and he has enough speed to turn the corner on field side runs.

I’m a sucker for contact balance, and Williams has plenty of it. Excellent contact balance and play strength--plays with rare physical toughness and physicality.

He runs through players. He packs a strong, stiff arm, plays well behind his pads, and breaks tackles at a rare rate. He does an insane job forcing defenders to have poor tackling angles, which maximizes his ability to break tackles. Yards after contact in 2020 must have been crazy.

He slips through arm tackles like they’re nothing. When corralled, he always keeps his legs churning - an absolute punisher. He shows patience, great feet, and good vision to read his blocks, see the second-level defenders, and then explode through the most advantageous path.

When spilled, he doesn’t just always try to get the edge; he’ll still look for cutback lanes and not panic. He really knows how to run the football intelligently and not just with his physical nature.

A nimble receiver who can run running back routes well. He was used more as a receiver in his 2020 Junior season and didn’t disappoint. Can leak out of the backfield on choice routes selling both directions with shimmy shakes of the head and shoulders. He is adept at catching over the shoulder downfield if needed and in the flats on flare routes.

Another positive about Williams' game is his pass protection ability. Typically players struggle in college with this trait, but he was far more advanced and physical than teammate Michael Carter. Stays square, doesn’t lunge too often and can locate blitzers and twists/stunts coming into the pocket.

I have got to be honest; I went into this evaluation expecting to see some glaring hole in Williams' game, and there doesn’t appear to be one.

He’s insanely physical, difficult to tackle, is a good athlete, his vision and burst aren’t in question, and he can pass protect well for a rookie. Williams is just a good football player who should be the third running back taken behind Clemson’s Travis Etienne and Alabama’s Najee Harris. He doesn’t get the fanfare of these two prospects, but he’s going to be an impact player in the NFL.


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