Prospect Breakdown: Trayveon Williams
It’s no secret this year’s running back class is an interesting one. Although it doesn’t boast a top tier player at the position, it is littered with talent. Guys like Josh Jacobs and David Montgomery begin to rise to the top of the heap. But some guys are getting slightly overlooked. Guys like Texas A&M’s, Trayveon Williams.
Trayveon Williams has been a focal point of the Aggies rushing attack from the moment he arrived as a true freshman. Now, after an incredible JR year, Williams is set to enter the NFL draft. However, for some reason, he isn’t being looked at as a top prospect at the position. Given his success with the Aggies, it almost seems criminal that he isn’t getting as much attention as the other running backs. With that said, I decided to dig a little deeper to find out why.
Trayveon Williams: Undeserving or Underappreciated?
- School: Texas A&M
- Position: Running Back
- Height: 5’9
- Weight: 200
- D.O.B: 10/18/97
Williams became a factor the moment he stepped on the field. Despite sharing duties with Keith Ford his freshman season, Williams quickly inserted himself into the Aggie’s rushing plans. He flashed greatness very early on – so much so that Williams became Texas A&M’s first true freshman to run for over 1,000 yards in a season. He seemed to be a great fit in Kevin Sumlin’s new (at the time) high powered offensive scheme.
Williams followed up a great freshman season with a productive sophomore campaign. Despite not showing it on the stat sheet, he was one of the few bright spots on a lackluster 17′ Texas A&M team. He led the team in total touches and yards from scrimmage while fending off touchdown monster Keith Ford yet again.
After a change in coaching culture for Texas A&M, Williams had his best season in his college career in 2018. The now Jimbo Fisher led Aggies averaged over 470 yards of total offense and Williams was the engine behind it all. Prior to the season, Williams was named SEC All-Second team. Following his monster season, he was named SEC All-First team as well as Second-team All American in 2018. He was also named a top ten finalist for the Doak Walker Award. The highest honor for a college running back to receive.
Trayveon Williams made this 73-yard TD look EASY ? pic.twitter.com/Xh9wfnrSuL
— ESPN CollegeFootball (@ESPNCFB) August 31, 2018
Williams has the ability to quickly diagnose what his offensive line gives him and create something if nothing is given. Williams doesn’t often over commit right off the snap which allows him time to adequately choose where he wants to take the play himself. He has a knack for finding unseen or unnoticed creases in the line that allows him to squeeze inside for good gains. Williams knows when to use his vision to bounce outside when the pocket is crashing as well. Overall his vision serves him well in his decision making.
Williams has a great first step that allows him to use impressive lateral agility to cut inside or outside if he chooses. He does a great job at selling his commitment to a gap and then using quick feet to redirect himself when needed. His strong burst and first step also allow him to bounce outside when his line crashes on him. Williams has impressive lateral footwork which allows him to buy a moment behind the line of scrimmage and allow for a lane to open up. His footwork in space allows him to get to the second level and create extra yardage for himself.
Williams was a good route runner out of the backfield but was also kicked out wide as a receiver. He looked smooth and comfortable running routes out of the backfield most times. Williams displayed enough receiving ability for me to believe he can do it at the next level with little problem. His pass protection was phenomenal for his size. Great at chipping defenders and getting outside when asked to. Williams showed good ability to handle incoming linebackers relatively well. He will carve out a receiving role in the NFL with these qualities.
LSU’s Devin White rips the ball out of Trayveon Williams’ hands for a massive scoop-and-score with 10:12 left. pic.twitter.com/ec8UxXGU5x
— Ben Baby (@Ben_Baby) November 25, 2018
Williams is a smaller back in terms of height and his overall frame is less than desirable. The skill set in which he possesses likely won’t translate to the NFL due to his size. At least not for a three-down between the tackles runner. Teams will likely knock his size and question if his body can handle the punishment asked from a running back in the NFL. His size presents limitations in terms of power which can also present problems at the next level. Williams will most likely not be able to sustain the volume he received in college, in the NFL.
Likely in correlation with his small size and frame, Williams doesn’t possess great contact balance. He rarely breaks contact and can often be seen choosing to go down instead of fighting through a tackle. He had trouble breaking tackles once getting to the next level, often leaving yards on the field. If Williams couldn’t cut on a defender and they were able to get their hands on him, the play was as good as over.
When looking at the raw and advanced data, Trayveon Williams definitely stands out. Especially in 2018. Williams racked up 2,038 yards from scrimmage, 1,760 on the ground, in 2018. He had a monster year in terms of usage with 271 attempts and managed to maintain a 6.5 YPC average through 13 games. He racked up 88 first downs and had 57 runs of 10 or more yards this season. To top off his 2018 stat sheet he also had 19 total touchdowns (18 rushing & one receiving). Wiliams finished first in the SEC in rushing yards, rushing TDs, yards from scrimmage, and TDs from scrimmage.
His receiving stats hit the mark for me as well. He racked up a total of 66 receptions through his three years at Texas A&M, 27 of which came in 2018. On those 27 receptions, he garnered 278 yards through the air and had a whopping 10.3 yard per reception average. In his sophomore season, Williams also snagged 20 receptions for 192 yards. Williams definitely has the numbers to back up his impressive play in college. The numbers don’t lie.
Trayveon Williams is not the flashiest or most powerful back in this class. But what he lacks in power and flash, he makes up for with great vision and a good level of consistency in his play. He possesses a skill set that will easily get him drafted. But the question is how well will his skill set translate to the NFL. He has the burst, footwork, and vision that teams will love. But he also lacks the size and toughness that run heavy teams covet. I predict him to be drafted high but be used as a part of a committee approach at the next level. His ability in the passing game will get him on the field and he will get the opportunity. But I do not expect him to be used as a three-down runner the way he was in college.
From a fantasy perspective, I expect him to be an early to mid second round pick in rookie dynasty drafts. Running backs with his receiving ability have more than enough value in PPR formats and can more than exceed the return on projected draft value in the future. Keep an eye out for this kid come draft time. Maybe even trade one of those old aging vets on your roster for an early second and go snag this kid in the summer.
As always thank you for stopping in and reading my work! You can reach me @JesseReevesFF on Twitter. Stay tuned for my next Prospect Breakdown!