The role of a running back seems to be constantly evolving, which is why Kyren Williams should be an attractive prospect in the 2022 NFL Draft. He posted back-to-back 1,000-yard rushing seasons at Notre Dame, but it's his pass-catching abilities that help him get on the field sooner in the pros. If he can make the transition as a runner as well, then the team that drafts him could be getting a steal.
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Kyren Williams Draft Profile
College: Notre Dame
One of the most dynamic and versatile offensive weapons in this draft class, Williams was productive despite playing behind a rebuilt offensive line. He has the elite quickness and lateral agility to make tacklers whiff, and his short-area burst allows him to make a move and then explode upfield. He shows a good understanding of blocks when running power and can pick up yards between the tackles thanks to his creativity and low center of gravity. He’s extremely competitive with the ball in his hands, often getting a hand on the ground to stay alive and constantly keeping his feet going. He has the long speed to hit the home run. He will have immediate value on third downs as well, with natural hands and an innate feel for leveraging defenders coming out of the backfield. He can be split out wide. He’s excellent when asked to stay in and pass protect; he plays bigger than his size, identifies his assignment and consistently stands up blitzers. He has experience as a return specialist as well.
Williams probably isn’t sturdy enough to hold up as a workhorse. He won’t push the pile and needs to create space — that was why he struggled to produce consistently behind a poor offensive line last season (just two 100-yard rushing games).
His passing-game value will give him a significant role; the question is whether he can produce as a runner.
Final Grade: 2nd/3rd Round