Boston College's Andre Williams led the nation in rushing with 2,177 yards -- he's one of just 15 players in NCAA history to reach the 2,000-yard plateau -- but a perceived lack of speed hurts his draft stock.
That stock would be helped if Williams performs well at the NFL Scouting Combine later this month.
If Andre Williams runs well will move up in draft. Told me he's working hard on catching ball and will run faster than people think.â Gil Brandt (@Gil_Brandt) February 14, 2014
Williams' rushing total was the fifth-best mark in FBS single-season history; he had nine 100-yard outings and five times reached the 200-yard mark, including four performances of at least 263 yards. He ran for 149 yards against national champion Florida State.
Williams (6-foot, 222 pounds) is an effective between-the-tackles runner and has been able to handle a heavy workload. He had at least 30 carries three times and at least 23 carries eight times in 2013. He also had at least 20 carries 14 times in his career, even though he shared time in each of his first three seasons.
As productive as he was in 2013, he lacks top-end speed. His receiving ability also is a question, as he had zero receptions in 2013 and just 10 in his career. He is listed as a likely mid-round pick by most analysts.
An important part of the combine is the team interviews, and Williams almost certainly will do well in that area.
Sat next to BC RB Andre Williams at Doak Walker dinner last night. Great speaker. Will impress at combine interviews. (more)â Gil Brandt (@Gil_Brandt) February 14, 2014
"I don't care what anyone says: If you interview well, teams will automatically move you up," Brandt said.
Williams graduated from BC in December with a degree in applied psychology and human development. He was unable to attend the graduation ceremony, but still received his moment in the spotlight. When he won the Doak Walker Award, given annually to the nation's top running back, during the College Football Awards Show, host Chris Fowler presented Williams with a mortarboard on stage.
Mike Huguenin can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org. You also can follow him on Twitter @MikeHuguenin.