Tennessee State running back Javarris Williams is entering the 2009 NFL Draft after four solid years in college. In 2008, he rushed for 912 yards and 15 touchdowns in 183 carries in 10 games. He was also a contributor in the passing game, catching 19 passes for 245 yards and one touchdown. He missed the final two games of the regular season because of an undisclosed injury but was able to play in the East-West Shrine game after the season.
Williams recorded four 100-yard games during the season and rushed for less than 50 yards only three times. He scored a touchdown in every game last year, including four multi-touchdown games. Williams scored 38 touchdowns in his final three seasons at Tennessee State, which likely intrigues the decision makers for NFL teams.
- Fights for yards after contact
- Quick enough to turn corner on runs
- Above-average pass blocker
- Capable in short-yardage situations
- Has the ability to exploit cutback lanes
- Appears to lack ideal lower-body strength and could struggle pushing the pile
- Can be an impatient runner at times
- Does not have top-end speed and will not break many long runs (4.51-second 40 time at the 2009 NFL Scouting Combine)
- Did not play against top competition in college
Expected draft placement
Williams, 5-foot-9 1/2, 223 pounds, likely will not be taken until the final few rounds of the draft. His productivity during college will likely help him in the process. Williams will be drafted as a team's No. 3 as a project for offensive coaches. Williams could see limited time during his rookie season because of the idea that teams like to use multiple running backs during games, but it may take him a year or two to get accustom to the speed and physicality of the NFL.
Williams has met with the Tennessee Titans; he could draw interest from the Houston Texans, Cleveland Browns, Buffalo Bills, New Orleans Saints, Arizona Cardinals and Philadelphia Eagles as a late-round flier, but any team could realistically take a shot on him at that stage of the draft.
About Tim Piotrowski
Piotrowski has been a Hot Off the Wire analyst since 2007.
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