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  • wpr
  • Preferred Member Topic Starter
Dexter Williams | Running Back | Notre Dame | 5'11" - 212 lbs.

Ascending every-down running back prospect who showed major flashes of becoming an NFL starter in his most active season to date. Williams runs with a good combination of feel, force and juice, which allows for a variety of methods in creating yards for himself. His evaluation could require additional character work and his relative lack of experience could mean a slower integration into an NFL offense; however, he offers exciting upside with the talent to become a productive, NFL starter.

  • Possesses adequate NFL size with good flexibility
  • Stepped into bell-cow role with ease
  • Had four games with 140-plus yards and averaged a touchdown run every 12 carries
  • Understands block development and where lanes will originate
  • Adequate decisiveness as interior runner
  • Presses line of scrimmage to set blockers up for success
  • Loose hips to flow where his eyes take him
  • Processes traffic quickly to work away from peek-a-boo gap-fitters
  • Impressive acceleration
  • Mashes gas to win foot races to corner or hit the home run
  • Runs with square pads and drops heavy, pre-emptive blows on tacklers
  • Small career workload for fresh NFL legs
  • Ball security has been excellent in relatively limited work.

  • Small sample size with limited tape against quality competition
  • Never more than 39 carries in a single season before 2018
  • Has an arrest (2016) and four-game suspension (2018) in his background
  • Slew-footed running style can affect balance through cuts
  • Needs to step in and square blitzers rather than defaulting to body rolls
  • Easier to upend in space because of narrow running base
  • Vision goes from good to average after he's past the line of scrimmage
  • Average elusiveness in open field

Pre-Draft Analysis
Williams is an instinctive between-the-tackles runner who does a good job of following his blocks. He plays faster than his 40 time and flashes the ability to pull away when he gets a seam. His limited production in the passing game is a concern, but he flashed the potential to develop into an effective checkdown who picks up some yards after the catch on 2018 Southern Cal tape.
"Well, they might kill you, but they won’t eat you." Uncle Teddy
  • wpr
  • Preferred Member Topic Starter


Vision/Patience - If it's blocked for him, he usually gets it (he also usually doesn't get anything beyond that, but I digress). Has good vision and hits the hole at proper angles to distance himself from tacklers. Good patience and timing as a runner, following pullers and working off of their blocks. Showed the ability to pull second level defenders out of their gaps with footwork and then cut back against them. Most of his best runs came due to craters up front, so fair to wonder how his vision will be when the creases narrow.

Burst - Some flashes of quick feet through the hole, but burst is typically adequate at best. Lacks the ability to make one cut and get to top speed quickly, which allows defenders to snag him in the hole before he can clear traffic. Once he gets into the open field, looks like he can hit a little bit of a second gear to pull away. Hasn't shown the ability to hit a crease and burst through it.

Contact Balance - Constantly brought down by first contact, regardless of where the defender initiated the blow. Arm tackles, low tackles, high tackles, all of them typically felled Williams relatively quickly. Flashed the ability to churn his legs and pick up yards when a defender jumped on his back from behind, but rarely broke through even lighter contact head on. Runs upright and exposes surface area for opponents. For all the long TD runs he had this year, not sure he was touched on any of them.

Receiving - 19 career catches for 133 yards and two scores over parts of three seasons. Routes out of the backfield were sloppy and not precise. Will need work if he is going to be featured in a more diverse fashion as a receiver in the NFL. Does not show much open field ability despite imposing build and decent athleticism.

C.O.D./Agility - Rarely makes anyone miss in the open field and shows a startling lack of creativity when he does make his way to space. Does make subtle adjustments in the clear to angle his path away from oncoming safeties, but won't juke anyone out and doesn't show desirable elusiveness. Nothing about his game suggests finding a way to get him touches in a variety of ways should be a priority.

Speed - Some sneaky late acceleration will keep you on your toes. Probably not going to run better than 4.5s, but he does a great job of angling away from tacklers and being aware of where defenders are coming from in breakaway situations. Lot of home runs this season.

Competitive Toughness - Flashes the desire to get involved physically in the pass protection game. Not a violent runner by any means, but has no qualms about contact and will bang it inside without hesitation when the time comes.

Ball Security - One fumble in 260 career touches. Sample size is relatively small, but no reason to believe fumbling is a concern.

Pass Protection - Willingness and size are there, but inexperience and execution are issues. Seemed confused about where to go at times and technique varied from throwing shoulders to overextending into contact. Will need significant work in this area, but does show potential with his stacked build and desire to stand in against blitzers.

Athleticism/Size - Outstanding build and frame for a running back, just doesn't play to the power he appears to possess. Looks chiseled out of granite. Adequate athlete without great short-area agility and explosiveness.

BEST TRAIT - Vision/Decision-Making

WORST TRAIT - Contact Balance

RED FLAGS - Arrest in 2016 for possession of marijuana and possessing a handgun with no license. Suspended four games for an unspecified violation of team rules to open the 2018 season.

A smart runner who reads blocks well and rarely misses his gap, Williams' best traits are his vision and patience as a runner, allowing him to consistently get every inch that is blocked for him. The problem? He does almost nothing outside of structure, rarely breaking a tackle or showing any elusiveness in the open field. Williams' lack of impact as a receiver and pass protector have him looking at a rotational role early in his career, but in the right situation with a strong offensive line, he could be a productive back at the next level. Unfortunately there is a long list of running backs that fit that description, and nothing about Williams' skill set suggests he'll be uniquely impactful enough to be worth a high pick.

Round Grade: 4th

"Well, they might kill you, but they won’t eat you." Uncle Teddy
  • wpr
  • Preferred Member Topic Starter


Feet - Adequate foot speed but precise timing with his cuts accentuates the burst he can generate. Outstanding vision leads to quick responses with his feet and he can quickly adjust his track to avoid tacklers. Presses the line of scrimmage with pace and rhythm, mindful of the second level and making life easier for his blockers.

Vision - Astute understanding of where lanes will develop and attacks them as they open. Blends patience wonderfully with decisiveness. Vision in the open field is ordinary.

Pass Protection - Has the frame and play strength that would suggest this could be an area of strength but the results are mixed. His primary deficiency is not keeping his feet engaged throughout the rep. He’s willing to step forward and absorb contact but his feet deaden on contact and he easily gets worked around.

Receiving - Only 22 career receptions across four seasons and his drop rate as a senior was fairly highly. Routes are lazily run and it's clear that technique and comfort are lacking.

Balance - Takes on tacklers well and sustains himself. Terrific control with his cuts in space and he is always square. Base can narrow a bit which takes away from his contact balance. Plays within himself.

Elusiveness - Fairly pedestrian. Modest agility and he isn’t overly dynamic with his cuts or lateral mobility. Requires more than desired gear down to stop-start.

Power - He’s a physical runner but I wouldn’t say he is overly power. Adequate ability to exchange and work for yards after contact but it’s not a “strength”. Could stand to run with better leverage and forward lean to take advantage of his functional strength.

Competitive Toughness - No concerns here as a ball carrier. Williams works hard to maximize his touches although he does himself no favors by taking on contact while remaining upright. Route running effort can disappoint.

Versatility - Has upside as a ball carrier both between the tackles and working off-tackle. Passing down upside is below average as a receiver and he needs to improve in pass protection. Five career kick returns (none in 2017 or 2018) and zero punt returns.


WORST TRAIT - Passing Downs

RED FLAGS - 2016 marijuana possession and having a handgun with no license. 2018 failed drug test.

Williams was non-existent during his first three seasons for the Irish, but broke out as a senior despite serving a four-game suspension. While is adequately powerful and modestly elusive, his vision and decision making as a runner make him appealing. He carries the football with outstanding pace, rhythm and spatial awareness. Unfortunately, Williams hasn’t been impactful on passing downs as a receiver or blocker which takes away from his valuation. Williams can provide depth at the next level as part of the rotation.

Round Grade - Mid Day 3

"Well, they might kill you, but they won’t eat you." Uncle Teddy
This was the Brett Hundley pick right? Watching his highlights is crazy because he looks a lot faster than his 40 time. He reminds me a little of Ryan Grant, quick enough to sneak by people and break some big runs but goes down fairly easy when they get hands on him.
  • KRK
  • Veteran Member
My primary concern here is in blitz pickup...from what I read, he need considerable work in this department.
In Luce tua Videmus Lucem KRK
Originally Posted by: KRK 

My primary concern here is in blitz pickup...from what I read, he need considerable work in this department.

All rookies do.
“Winning is not a sometime thing, it is an all the time thing. You don't do things right once in a while…you do them right all the time.”
Originally Posted by: KRK 

My primary concern here is in blitz pickup...from what I read, he need considerable work in this department.

Originally Posted by: nerdmann 

All rookies do.

Yes most college RBs/TEs need a heck of a lot of work on their blocking as college coaches only get a limited amount of time with players, and usually for most schemes, blocking is the least important part for those position to get perfect, vs being a runner or receiver.

Also in this offensive scheme, I believe the RB is used more as a receiver than a blocker... as they try to get the RB in one on one and used a quick short pass almost like a running play, if they can break a tackle then they can pick up some yardage. Of course, I believe he needs some work in his receiving too.

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