SAN DIEGO -- I've said it many times this fall: I can't remember a time where we've had this much running back talent in college football. BYU RB Jamaal Williams has been outstanding this fall, but he gets lost in the shuffle because of high-profile players like Dalvin Cook, Christian McCaffrey and Leonard Fournette. Williams had the stage to himself on Wednesday night against Wyoming in the Poinsettia Bowl and he put on a show.
He racked up 210 rushing yards and he did it in physical fashion. He has a tall/muscular frame and he has somewhat of an upright running style. However, when defenders approach him, he can crouch down and lower his shoulder to break tackles. He unleashed several vicious stiff arms on Wednesday when he arrived at the second and third level of the defense. He is very decisive and he showed tremendous vision. I don't think he'll run very fast at the NFL Scouting Combine (I predict he'll run the 40-yard dash in 4.60/4.65 seconds), but I think his game translates very well at the next level.
He definitely ended his college career on a high note and he'll have another opportunity to help himself at the Reese's Senior Bowl next month. I gave him a third-round grade when I studied him on tape, but he will probably go lower than that because of the depth of the running back class. I struggled to come up with a clear comparison for his game, but I think he has a similar build and style to Matt Forte. Both guys are smooth and physical. The main difference is that Forte has a little more juice and he's more polished in the passing game.
Here are my observations on a couple of other prospects I watched closely on Wednesday night:
Wyoming RB Brian Hill didn't play in the first quarter of the Poinsettia Bowl due to a coach's decision. I thought he had a solid night once he entered the lineup. For a bigger back, he has some shiftiness to him, but I don't think he always plays to his size (6-foot-1, 219 pounds). I'd like to see him show a little more explosiveness and power. I've studied one of his games on tape (Nebraska) and I wasn't blown away by him. I was anxious to see him and Williams compete on the same field. I thought Williams was clearly the better back.
Wyoming QB Josh Allen has generated some buzz in scouting circles. He has ideal size (6-5, 222) and excellent arm talent. I thought this game was indicative of what I studied on tape. He can make some "wow" throws, and he's also capable of escaping pressure in the pocket. However, his decision making and pinpoint accuracy are both a work in progress. He forces too many passes and loves to throw across his body. All of his mistakes are correctable and I think another year at Wyoming could do wonders for his draft stock.