James Williams

Washington State
RB27

Prospect Info

College
Washington State
Hometown
Class
CA
r-Junior
Height
Weight
Arms
5' 9"
197 lbs
30 3/8”
Hands
9 1/4”

Prospect Grade

4.99
Should Be in an NFL Training Camp
How We Grade
40 Yard Dash
4.58
Seconds
 
Bench Press
--
Reps
 
Vertical Jump
36.5
INCHES
 
Broad Jump
118.0
INCHES
 
3 Cone Drill
7.01
Seconds
 
20 Yd Shuttle
4.25
Seconds
 
60 Yd Shuttle
12.2
Seconds
 

Playlist

Williams was given his nickname after Boobie Miles from Friday Night Lights, and now he is looking to be a factor on Sundays. He was an all-conference performer at Burbank High School as a junior, receiving interest from multiple FBS programs and a scholarship offer from WSU. A knee injury ended his senior season two games in, however. Cougars coaches kept their offer in place and redshirted Williams in 2015 so he could heal. He stood out in Head Coach Mike Leach's offense the following year, starting two of 13 games played, leading the team in rushing (102 carries, 584 yards, 5.7 ypc, six touchdowns), and showing how much of an impact he could make as a receiver (48 catches, 342 yards, 7.1 average, one touchdown). Williams was the team's leading receiver in 2017, nearly catching more passes (71 catches, 482 yards, 6.8 average, three scores) than he received handoffs (92 carries, 395 yards, 5.5 ypc, one touchdown) in the 13 games (three starts). Leach and transfer quarterback Gardner Minshew leaned on Williams even more in 2018, when he earned honorable mention All-Pac-12 honors after topping his squad in rushing (119 carries, 552 yards, 4.6 ypc, 12 touchdowns) and receiving (76 catches, 560 yards, 7.4 average, four touchdowns).
By Lance Zierlein
NFL Analyst
Draft Projection
Priority free agent
Overview
Undersized change-of-pace back with above-average elusiveness who has the potential to handle some third down duties. Williams is a cagey open-field runner who is better at responding to tacklers than recognizing where the proper paths are. His pass-catching production belies the simplicity of what he was asked to do on most targets, but he does have the athleticism to handle more complex routes. He may need to find a more wide-open scheme to operate in, but there is enough talent there to challenge for the 53.
Strengths
  • Averaged a touchdown every 16 carries during career
  • Plays with oily hips and slippery feet
  • Shifty to the perimeter and in open space
  • Left the field littered with missed tackle attempts
  • Twirls, spins and balances his way out of contact
  • Jump-cuts across sudden tacklers he finds in his periphery
  • Underrated stiff-arm
  • Has athleticism to become effective route-runner
  • Hands are generally reliable
  • Appears to have toughness and tools to handle blitz-pickup
  • Recognizes where the rush comes from and steps in
Weaknesses
  • Narrow base with linear frame
  • Benefited by running in space against lighter boxes
  • Occasional lack of commitment between the tackles
  • Inconsistent block recognition
  • Will void the designed rush path without provocation
  • Willing run finisher but lacks the frame for it
  • Indecisive without clear point of entry
  • Focus drops when defenders close-in
  • Bundles of catch production came as safety valve.
GRADE
9.00-10
Once-in-lifetime player
8.00-8.99
Perennial All-Pro
7.50-7.99
Future All-Pro
7.00-7.49
Pro Bowl-caliber player
6.50-6.99
Chance to become Pro Bowl-caliber player
6.00-6.49
Should become instant starter
5.50-5.99
Chance to become NFL starter
5.20-5.49
NFL backup or special teams potential
5.01-5.19
Better-than-average chance to make NFL roster
5.00
50-50 Chance to make NFL roster
4.75-4.99
Should be in an NFL training camp
4.50-4.74
Chance to be in an NFL training camp
NO GRADE
Likely needs time in developmental league