Ryan Williams NFL Draft scouting report

Ryan Williams
5'9, 212 pounds | Running back | Virginia Tech

Acceleration/burst/quickness:
A lingering hamstring injury drained Williams of some of his quickness and acceleration last season. When he's healthy, Williams shows a good burst to hit the hole and accelerate through it. Has enough quickness to get the edge before defenders.

Elusiveness: Has a good cutback move to avoid defenders. Possesses plenty of quick movement agility to burst outside and juke opponents in the open field. His elusiveness isn't elite by any means, but it's good enough. Doesn't tend to take many false steps. A good cut and plant runner.

Pass blocking/catching: Virginia Tech liked to use Williams on wheel routes. He showed he can run the route fine and has good enough hands. Williams may never be a top option in the pass game, but isn't a liability. He may be as a pass blocker. His technique is routinely flawed. Williams doesn't attack pass rushers enough and lowers his head on contact.

Power: Williams may not be the biggest running back, but he plays with a good amount of power. He doe a real nice job of working through arm tackles. Has a good leg drive when working through the trash. Knows how to mask some of his power deficiency by running with a low pad level.

Speed: Although Williams has such a good short-area burst, he doesn't have the best deep speed. He won't often break away in the open field. Still, his quickness allows him to beat players to the edge without losing speed.

Vision: On stretch plays, Williams displays good patience, allowing the play to develop before cutting and taking off. Sets up his blockers fairly well. Isn't a negative yardage runner who cuts back to try and move forward.

Final word: If he's drafted into zone scheme, Williams has a chance to be the best running back in this class. That's the same scheme that Virginia Tech ran when 1,655 yards and 21 touchdowns in 2009.

It was a surprise to see Williams enter the draft after 2010 with two seasons of eligibility remaining. Williams is no guarantee to be top 50 pick and could have developed into the top running back for the 2012 draft. As it is, some teams will have to wonder about his injury history. He missed four games and part of a fifth due to a hamstring injury. It clearly hampered his running ability, as he finished 2010 with 477 yards and nine touchdowns.

Virginia Tech also has a tendency to produce good college running backs. You have to wonder to some extent how much of a system player Williams is and if he can truly translate to the NFL. But in the right scheme, he should be able to.
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