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25 Days of Draftmas: James Williams has the pass-catching ability the Chiefs need at running back

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Merry Draftmas. Let’s talk about Texas defensive end Charles Omenihu.

A very Merry Draftmas to you! It’s 25 Days of Draftmas on Arrowhead Pride, where we’ll be giving you a Kansas City Chiefs draft prospect every day in April leading up to the NFL Draft. You’ll get a daily prospect profile like this one right up until Draft Day.


James Williams, running back

NCAA Football: Alamo Bowl-Iowa State vs Washington State Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports

5’9 1/2” | 197 lbs | Washington State

Projected draft range: day three

I would take him in the: sixth round

One-sentence bio: Early entrant into the Draft, three-year letter winner who caught 83 passes his final season for the Cougars.

One-sentence scouting report: Small running back with versatility to run a variety of routes out of the backfield and in the slot.

One play:

How he fits in KC: General manager Brett Veach has a thing for big, physical running backs that can catch the ball. While Williams doesn’t have those first two qualities, he has the pass-catching thing down in spades. He led college football in catches by a running back last season. Williams profiles as a change-of-pace type back rather than someone you’re going to turn around and hand the ball off to 15 to 20 times a game. His value is in his dynamic ability as a route runner and pass catcher. He has natural hands and was asked to play in a variety of alignments. His change of direction is good and allows him to break out of short routes, such as whip routes to create separation. He’ll need to develop consistency with his technique in pass protection but shows a willingness to do his job in that area.

Williams’ role will likely be in the passing game, only handing the ball off to him enough to break tendencies and keep defenses honest. As a running back, he’s elusive in space and has solid contact balance. His vision isn’t particularly impressive as a runner and that could limit his opportunities to expand his role. However, the pass-catching traits are plus-plus and are what he’s going to hang his hat on at the next level. Williams will likely have to wait until day three to hear his name called or get an opportunity as an undrafted free agent. I’d have no problem with the Chiefs scooping him up on Saturday of draft weekend.

Want to read more player profiles from Arrowhead Pride’s 25 Days of Draftmas? Click here for the complete list. And to stay informed on the players in which the Chiefs have shown interest, be sure to check out AP’s Chiefs draft prospect visit and workout tracker.


KC Draft Guide

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We’ll have over 225 prospect write-ups, with specifics about how prospects fit the Chiefs. There will be big boards, more than 300 grades on players, mock drafts, positional rankings and features — all specific to the Chiefs. You can pre-order the guide for only $7.99 by clicking here or entering ‘countdown’ in the promotional code field below!