In an incredibly deep running back class with includes both Leonard Fournette and Dalvin Cook, Jamaal Williams could very well end up being the best of the bunch.
Williams hadn’t played for the best part of two years due to an injury and team rule violations, but returned to Brigham Young with a vengeance this past season.
Coming in at an intimidating 6’2″, 215lbs, Jamaal Williams is a mighty impressive downhill runner. His lower-body strength really stands out on film, he runs incredibly hard and is both slippery enough and fast enough to break away from defenses with his long strides.
Williams is blessed with shiftiness and quickness and when he puts his foot in the ground, it usually has a devastating impact on opposing defenses.
The senior shows nice vision, patience and the ability to break outside when things clog up inside. He gets skinny through the hole, powers through arm tackles and always seems to fall forward for extra yards.
The Fontana, California native only fumbled five times on 726 attempts during his Cougar career and it is clear to see why. He carries the ball with perfect technique, switching arms when necessary and covering up when contact is imminent.
Williams missed three games last season due to injury, and suffered a significant knee injury during his junior year (2014) against Middle Tennessee. He sat out the 2015 season for reportedly violating unspecified team rules. He was also arrested on suspicion of underage drinking in February 2014 and was consequently suspended for BYU’s 2014 opener against UConn.
With only one career touchdown reception to his name – which came all the way back in 2012 – Williams isn’t much of a receiving threat out of the backfield. He could stand to improve his pass protection, however, I don’t foresee him becoming a three-down back at the professional level.
Projection: Round 2-3
By returning to Provo, Williams shattered two school rushing records. Earlier this season he annihilated Toledo for 286 yards to break the single-game rushing record, and he broke the school career rushing yards record against Mississippi State. Williams finished his illustrious college career with 3,901 rushing yards and 35 rushing touchdowns.
Jamaal Williams does not have the coveted skill set of a three-down back, however, he has shown more than enough on tape to validate an early-down role in the NFL, a role in which I expect him to thrive.