#37 RB, Ryan Williams (5’10 210 lbs.) – Virginia Tech Hookies
Competitiveness: A very competitive back who runs with purpose and tenacity. In 2009, Darren Evans went down with injury, and Williams filled in nicely. As the feature back, Williams has a monster season and broke the ACC and Virginia Tech freshman rushing records. Is persistent to get yards after first contact, which sometimes leads poor ball security.
Vision/Patience: Shows excellent vision and patience. Unlike most young backs, Williams allows blocks to develop before making his cut and turning it up field. Shows extended vision at the second level. Has the ability to consistently turn 5-10 yard gains into 20+ yard gains.
Agility/Acceleration: Williams is very quick. Displays excellent lateral movement. Shows good, not great top end speed. Can get caught from behind and drugged down when running to daylight.
Power/Balance: Williams isn’t quite the bruiser that Mark Ingram is, but he does run extremely hard. His style allows him to constantly fall forward for extra yards. Isn’t that big of a back, but has enough size to move the pile and pick up 1st downs in short yardage situations. Shows great balance, and breaks a ton of arm tackles because of it.
Passing Game: This is where Williams needs to grow as a running back. Not the type of back to line up outside the hashes and run a down field route. Is a good check down option, and has the ability to pick up decent yardage with the ball in his hands, but he must sure his hands up. Has a good feel for getting open when the quarterback is flushed from the pocket. Needs to catch the ball cleanly with his hands. Also is still developing in pass protection. Needs to improve his blocking technique and blitz pickup recognition.
Intangibles: After a record breaking 209 season, Williams was hampered off and on by injuries in 2010. Due to injuries, he found himself splitting time with Darren Evans. Williams took it in stride and never complained. Is a hard worker in the gym and classroom.
Overall Stock: I am not high on Ryan Williams. I don’t believe a sophomore running back should enter the draft after one good season, and one injury plagued season. A team will take a chance on Williams because he possesses some good qualities and the ability to be a feature back, but he will need a year or two to develop. It would have been to his advantage to return to school, especially with Darren Evans entering the draft. Im sure injuries played a part in his decision. He still has momentum from his 2009 performance, and he wants to cash in. Running backs don’t go in the first round unless they’re truly special. I expect a teams to start giving Williams looks in the second round.
NFL Comparisons: Arian Foster and Marshawn Lynch