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Scouting The 2017 NFL Draft: Joe Williams, RB, Utah

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I've spent a lot of time focusing on early round draft picks, so as a change of pace, I decided to look at a very talented RB with plenty of red flags.

Oregon v Utah Photo by Gene Sweeney Jr/Getty Images

Introduction

Hometown: Allentown, PA

High School: Emmaus HS

Recruitment: 2 Star

Measurables

Height: 5'11"

Weight: 205

Class: Senior

Projected 40 Time: 4.35

Stats

2012 (UCONN) - 3 rushes, 6 yards,

2014 (Brooklyn) - 163 carries, 1093 yards, 7 TD's, 16 receptions, 237 yards, 3 TD's

2015 (Utah) - 104 carries, 477 yards, 3 TD's, 11 reception, 84 yards

2016 (Utah) - 210, 1407 yards, 10 TD's, 9 receptions, 107 yards

Positives

  • Above average speed. Runs away from safeties
  • Shows good lateral quickness and feet
  • Runs with power and authority
  • Breaks a lot of weak arm tackles
  • Has a lot of lower body power, churns out some tough yards.
  • Got some moves in the open field
  • Production as a senior was impressive considering the playing time
  • Looked refreshed and committed when returning from retirement.

Negatives

  • Kicked out of Uconn for credit card theft.
  • Retired halfway through 2016, only to return.
  • Hands are poor, not much of a receiver.
  • Very poor blocker in terms of technique and effort.
  • Holds the ball loose, poor ball security, fumble issues
  • Doesn't run with a great deal of balance.
  • Hesitant to hit the line, not through vision or patience.
  • Sometimes runs into needless tackles

Conclusion

Joe Williams is a really interesting case. He recently came out and spoke about his decision to leave the team mid-season, and you can read about it here. Whether you buy that or think it's damage control as we enter the draft process, well that's up to you. The credit card theft is worrying, although he's managed to stay out of trouble over the last few years.

Putting those red-flags to one side, I think he has a lot of talent. I like his lateral quickness and I like his open field burst. I like the power and authority, I like that he lowers his shoulder and bounces off contact.

I don't like the fact that he would have to come off the field on 3rd down, due to the fact that he can't block and isn't a reliable pass-catching target. He can also be a frustrating runner, plowing into traffic when a little patience would open a hole, then bouncing behind the line when he should just be putting his head down.

If you wanted to bring in a guy who could potentially develop into a nice rotational back, then Williams is an option. Personally I wouldn't touch him before the 6th round.

Draft Round Prediction: 6th Round