Seattle Seahawks 90-Man Roundup: Will TaMerik Williams Make Noise in RB Competition?

One of the FCS division's best power backs, TaMerik Williams will be leaning on his physicality between the tackles to make the Seahawks roster.
Oct 24, 2019; Houston, TX, USA; Southern Methodist Mustangs running back TaMerik Williams (21) prior to the game against the Houston Cougars at TDECU Stadium.
Oct 24, 2019; Houston, TX, USA; Southern Methodist Mustangs running back TaMerik Williams (21) prior to the game against the Houston Cougars at TDECU Stadium. / © Erik Williams-USA TODAY Sports
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With OTAs now opening across the NFL, the Seattle Seahawks will open training camp at the VMAC in a little over two months, officially ushering in the first season under new coach Mike Macdonald.

In preparation for the new incoming season, we'll be detailing every member of the Seahawks 90-man roster over the next several weeks, diving into scheme fits, exploring best and worst case scenarios, and predicting what to expect from each player entering the 2024 campaign.

After a stellar three seasons at North Dakota State, will TaMerik Williams' bruising rushing style and previous special teams experience give him a shot at a reserve spot in Seattle's backfield?

Background

A three-star recruit heralding from Angleton, Texas, Williams initially stayed in state and committed to SMU, where he saw limited action for the Mustangs with 23 carries for 121 yards and two touchdowns. Unhappy with lack of playing time, he transferred to North Dakota State after the 2020 season and immediately became a key cog in the Bison's ground game machine, rushing for 771 yards and 12 touchdowns in 2021. Over three seasons with the program, he rushed for more than 2,100 yards with 28 rushing touchdowns and averaged north of four yards per carry after contact, providing a punishing change of pace back for the program. Going undrafted, he signed with the Seahawks as a free agent and participated in rookie minicamp.

Scheme Fit

At his best as a downhill, smashmouth runner, per Pro Football Focus, the majority of Williams' 345 carries at North Dakota State came on gap concepts, catering to his power and tackle-breaking ability. Seldomly used on third downs, he had 89 pass blocking reps over three seasons, posting a respectable 94.3 pass blocking efficiency rate. Targets rarely went his direction in the passing game with just 92 receiving yards in five seasons, but he caught 18 out of 22 opportunities with only one drop in his college career.

Best Case Scenario

With his bruising style translating well to the next level, Williams emerges as the next Troymaine Pope during the preseason, rushing for over 140 yards and two touchdowns in exhibition contests and pitching in on special teams to earn one of Seattle's final roster spots as a fourth back.

Worst Case Scenario

Lacking the explosiveness to run away from NFL defenders and unable to contribute as a receiver or pass protector, Williams isn't able to stand out from other undrafted running backs on the roster and receives a pink slip midway through training camp.

What to Expect in 2024

Though Williams never took over as North Dakota State's workhorse back, his lack of usage at the college level may actually serve as a benefit to him as he competes for a roster spot in Seattle. At 220-plus pounds, he has the strength and power to break through arm tackles and push the pile forward, which matches the mindset Macdonald wants to employ with a more physical offense. There's a good chance he finds success as a runner in the preseason, which would give him an outside shot at sticking around.

But as much as Williams' hard-nosed running style may endear him to the coaching staff, he will have to be much more effective handling third down back responsibilities than he was in college for him to win a roster spot. Competing against Kenny McIntosh and other incoming undrafted players such as George Holani who have a much better resume as receivers and pass protectors, he will have to prove he's better in both aspects than numbers and film suggest. Coupling that with questions about special teams fit and it could be a steep uphill climb for him to move up Seattle's depth chart.

Previous 90-Man Roundups

Buddha Jones | Devin Richardson


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Corbin K. Smith

CORBIN K. SMITH

Graduating from Manchester College in 2012, Smith began his professional career as a high school Economics teacher in Indianapolis and launched his own NFL website covering the Seahawks as a hobby. After teaching and coaching high school football for five years, he transitioned to a full-time sports reporter in 2017, writing for USA Today's Seahawks Wire while continuing to produce the Legion of 12 podcast. He joined the Arena Group in August 2018 and also currently hosts the daily Locked On Seahawks podcast with Rob Rang and Nick Lee. Away from his coverage of the Seahawks and the NFL, Smith dabbles in standup comedy, is a heavy metal enthusiast and previously performed as lead vocalist for a metal band, and enjoys distance running and weight lifting. A habitual commuter, he resides with his wife Natalia in Colorado and spends extensive time reporting from his second residence in the Pacific Northwest.