2019 Raiders Draft Prospect Profile
Name: James Williams
Position: Running Back
School: Washington State University
Weight: 205 pounds
Round Projection: Day 3
Behind low pads, Williams weaves his way towards positive yardage. In addition, his vision helps him grab that small advantage that will lead to big yardage. For the same reason, his balance also helps him shake off ankle-biting tackles that would normally trip up a back. Yet, despite his average size, Williams runs with surprising thump that will challenge defenders to adjust their approach angles and target areas. In addition, along the goal line, he will, more often than not use power to cross the plan of the goal line.
If Williams has to lose a defender behind the line, he will use a jump cut. Additionally, after he does streak past the line, Williams features a string of jukes. When he an opponent squares up in space, behind a full start, watch for the combination juke. This will catch the linebacker flat-footed and will leave him grasping for air. As a result, sloppy tackle attempts end up empty, as Williams can easily maneuver down the field.
With a compact stride, Williams accelerates easily and pulls away from defenders. In the open field, he will still throttle up and can smell the end zone from inside the fifty-yard line. Plus, in the passing game, Williams gets to the corner and gets the full head of steam down.
Without a doubt, few running backs in this draft have the number of catches or experience in the passing game that Williams enjoyed in Pullman. From swing passes to screen and the occasional wheel, Williams showed no hesitation in this area. With a natural hands and timing, he fits into a three-down back in a pinch, if need be.
Granted, the Raiders will not envision Williams as a three-down starting back. However, he will give them an immediate boost as the change-of-pace role. Now, many will say that Jalen Richard serves that role already. Yet, Richard is a free agent and is not guaranteed to return. Plus, with a draftniks as general manager, Mayock and Gruden will want to continue their remodeling of the roster. In addition, Williams would give the Raiders burst and versatility that Richard has not consistently provided. Moreover, the Raiders could take him on Day 3 and give the offense another playmaker.