Measuring in at 5’9 3/8 and 212 pounds, Virginia Tech’s Ryan Williams is a small powerful package that is ready to take his gam to the next level. He showed off his powerful and explosive legs at the NFL Scouting Combine when he jumped a 40 inch vertical. You see that same explosiveness when you evaluate his on the field attributes as well.
He uses his strong lower body to power through tackles and often gains additional yards after contact and is rarely taken down by an arm tackle. He runs with a low pad level and nice balanced forward lean so that even when he is taken down, he will fall forward. Like a lot of power runners that fight for that extra yardage, he will need to stay focused on ball security as he did have six fumbles in the past two seasons. In addition to his power running style, he shows a certain flexibility in his hips that allow him to cut at close to full speed. With his 4.61 forty yard dash, he has the rare ability to get to the edge with quickness and then shows the vision to cut back if a lane opens up. Because of this versatility, he can be an effective inside and outside runner that is valuable in the NFL. Like most rookie running backs, he will need to prove he can be an asset as a pass protector, but he has shown the ability to get out and catch the ball from the backfield.
Overall, I like the skill-set that Williams brings to the table. As running back needy teams consider drafting Ingram or LeShoure in the mid-first to early second round, they will want to consider the value they could get later in the draft with such backs as Ryan Williams.