Javonte Williams cracks this analyst’s Top 10 RB list

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Former UNC football running back Javonte Williams is entering year two with the Denver Broncos and the expectations are high not only for the franchise but for Williams himself. After the team acquired Russell Wilson in a trade with Seattle, the Broncos are expected to compete in a loaded AFC West division here in 2022.

And Williams looks to be a key piece to their offense.

Williams split time with Melvin Gordon in his rookie year under Vic Fangio but often times the franchise leaned on Gordon more, especially late in games. That might not be the case this year as Williams is expected to take a big step forward and those around the league are taking notice.

ESPN writer Jeremy Fowler polled executives, players and coaches around the NFL for his Top 10 piece breaking down each position. At running back, Williams was voted No. 10 as he craked the list for the first time. Here is what they said about Williams:

Williams won a tight tiebreaker here with Chargers running back Austin Ekeler, who had a fantastic 20-touchdown season. Ekeler is probably the better all-around player right now, and many voters agree. But as a pure runner, Williams is poised for big things.

“You can’t get him on the ground, can’t tackle him,” an NFL personnel official said. “That kid is really good. Depends which offense you’re running in that [Ekeler vs. Williams] discussion, and Ekeler is really, really good. But with Williams you just can see defenses feeling like, ‘I’m tired of tackling him.’ He’s not as fast as Taylor but has everything else.”

Williams produced 903 yards with four touchdowns on 203 rushes as a rookie, which is no small feat while sharing a backfield with established back Melvin Gordon III. Williams tied for ninth in the NFL with 460 rushing yards after contact.

But a few scouts believe he is more than capable as a pass-catcher, too, despite modest numbers there (43 receptions for 316 yards). Expect those totals to rise.

“He’s a guy you build an offense around.” an NFL offensive coach added. “He does stuff other guys can’t do. Such great balance, strong. Can turn a loss into a 10-yard gain.”

Williams finished his rookie season with 903 rushing yards and 4 touchdowns, while also catching 43 passes for 316 yards and 3 touchdowns.

Let’s see if he can take that next step in his game and have an increased role this year.

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