NFL Draft Profile: Rams Selection Kyren Williams, RB

by Pat Pryor
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Kyren Williams was selected by the Rams with the 164th pick in the 5th round of the NFL Draft. Williams is from Saint Louis and grew up a Rams fan. Filling an important need, it’s seemingly a match made in heaven. However, he’s much more than just a fan of the reigning Super Bowl Champions.

NFL Draft Measurables

Height 5’9-2/8” Wingspan 69-7/8” Vertical 32″
Weight 194 40-time 4.65 Bench N/A
Hand 9″ Shuttle 4.33 3-Cone 7.07
Arm 28-5/8″ Broad Jump 9’8″ RAS 3.52

How We Grade Players

Grade Player Meaning Grade Player Meaning
9.5-10 Generational Player 6.25-6.75 Average Starter
9-9.49 Top of Position 5.5-6.25 Below-Average Starter
8.5-8.99 All-Pro Caliber 5-5.4 Developmental Player
8-8.49 High End Starter 4.5-4.9 Special Teams Player
7.5-7.99 Pro-Bowl Caliber Player 4-4.4 Practice Squad
7-7.49 Above Average Starter 3-4 Journeyman PS
6.75-6.99 Slightly Above-Average 0-2.9 Free Agent

How We Grade Traits

Grade Trait Meaning Grade Trait Meaning
9.5-10 Nearly Perfect 6-6.4 Average
9-9.4 Top of Position 5.5-5.9 Below-Average
8.5-9 Great 5-5.4 Below-Average
8-8.4 Very Good 4.5-4.9 Poor
7.5-7.9 Good 4-4.4 Bad
7-7.4 Above Average 3-4 Very Bad
6.5-6.9 Slightly Above Average 0-2.9 Non-Existent

NFL Draft Evaluation

Trait Grade Trait Grade Trait Grade
Speed 4.75 Patience 7 Production 7
Power/Drive 6.75 Athleticism 5 Motor 8
Vision 6.5 Explosiveness 5.5
Cutting Ability 6 Ball Security 6
Contact Balance 7 Pass Blocking 7.75
Footwork 6.5 Route Running 5.5
Elusiveness/Agility 5 Open Field 6
Play Creation 6.5 Hands 8.25 Overall 6.26

Strengths

Ferocious pass blocking mentality that you can’t teach. Very high motor player, especially when pass blocking. Very good contact balance despite small frame. Consistently displays great trucking and power on tape. Great hands for a running back. Nice combination of vision, patience, and power. Clean footwork, is able to cut well at the line. Highly aware player, finds holes, sees blockers, does well on option routes. Can be lined up in the slot, has experience there. Can offer unique skill set on punt returns. 31 scrimmage touchdowns in 2 years. Lifelong Rams fan, was extremely excited to be picked by them in the NFL Draft, really a player who will give it his all. 

Weaknesses

Subpar height and weight especially for his play style. Below average burst out of the backfield. Not a creative separator in the pass game. Hesitates heading to MOF from backfield when receiving. Very poor athletic testing. Doesn’t have deep speed, has to rely on contact balance downfield.

Overview

Kyren Williams was a very good running back at Notre Dame, that is a fact. However, I have some questions as his game translates to the NFL. He was a powerful runner in college, routinely bowling over linebackers. However, he’s small for that playstyle in the NFL. He has similar measurables and testing, but is still smaller than former fellow Irishman Theo Riddick. We’ll get a much more accurate look at his abilities in the preseason, but right now his size presents questions. These question are why he fell in the NFL draft, but he still has a very good chance to succeed.

He doesn’t have great speed, but his agility on tape is solid. He’s also a very good receiving back. He’ll do best on swing and flat routes, where he can meet corners in zone and power through them. He has great hands, so when needed on crossing routes he can be trusted to hold in the crowded field.

How Does He Fit?

In the Rams offense he projects as a third down back to start his career. His incredible pass blocking mentality and solid capability will come up big on passing downs, and when needed he can be used out of the backfield, or even lined up out wide. If he’s able to add some weight, or prove he can handle NFL level physicality, he will absolutely see real rushing usage in the NFL. I also think that he could be used on punt returns. He has very sure hands and could definitely overpower some of the lighter gunners on special teams. He’s an easy addition to the Rams 53 man roster and was a great value pick in the NFL Draft.

Grading the Pick

This was a very good pick. It’s not often you get players on day three that you can be sure will have production. Kyren Williams, with his skill set, is one of those players. With the needs at corner and offensive line addressed, running back was the clear pick. They weren’t going to get an immediate impact player at linebacker, given Brandon Smith, Leo Chenal and Channing Tindall all going significantly earlier. They clearly liked the later round safeties, picking up two of them. They instead land a lifelong Rams fan who fits very well into their offense. You don’t hit on those everyday in the NFL Draft.

Draft Grade: B+
Floor: 3rd Down Exclusive Back
Ceiling: Low End Starting Back

 

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