GREEN BAY, Wis. – In a tradition that stretches more than a decade, here is our annual ranking of the 90 players on the Green Bay Packers’ roster. This isn’t merely a look at the best players. Rather, it’s a formula that combines talent, salary, importance of the position, depth at the position and, for young players, draft positioning. More than the ranking, we hope you learn a little something about every player on the roster.
No. 63: RB Dexter Williams (5-11, 212, second year, Notre Dame)
The Packers used a sixth-round pick on Williams last year. Hand-picked for coach Matt LaFleur’s scheme, there were high hopes following a solid career at Notre Dame.
“The one good thing about him is, he’s got the ability to make explosive cuts, but he’s got really good acceleration. He can hit his top speed pretty fast,” Packers running back coach Ben Sirmans said during the 2019 offseason program. “He should be built for this scheme because he can make explosive cuts and he can accelerate through the hole.”
Plenty has changed over the last 12 months. Not ready for prime time in either phase of the passing game, Williams played in only four games with 10 snaps on offense and 38 on special teams. He carried five times for 11 yards. At the Scouting Combine, LaFleur said the Packers needed another running back. They got one, making a sizable investment in the position with second-round pick AJ Dillon.
At times during the offseason, Williams wasn’t even mentioned by the coaches. Asked about the group behind standout Aaron Jones, LaFleur said: “I’m excited about our backfield with Jamaal Williams coming back and then adding AJ Dillon to the mix. I’d be remiss if I left out Tyler Ervin, as well, because he did a lot of great things for us in the return game. We’ve got to find ways to get him on the field, as well.”
Why he’s got a chance: With Jones, Jamaal Williams and Ervin headed to free agency at the end of the season, the Packers would be wise to keep the cupboard stocked. It’s certainly not far-fetched to think the Packers could roll into 2021 with Dillon and Dexter Williams as the top tandem. That will be up to Dexter Williams to show he’s worthy. The key will be his improvement as a receiver and pass protector.
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