Trayveon Williams 2019 NFL Draft Prospect Profile Scouting Report
As has been discussed to death by this point, this is not the most spectacular running back class. Josh Jacobs has an underwhelming athletic profile, scouts do not seem to be as high on Darrell Henderson as #DraftTwitter analysts are, David Montgomery is solid but not amazing and so on and so forth. Trayveon Williams fits into that same mold. His prospect profile has it’s gold stars and its’ warts as well.
Trayveon Williams was Texas A&M’s first-ever true-freshman rusher to get 1,000 rushing yards in a season and while he does not meet the Rotoviz-ian “breakout age” threshold, I am counting it for my analysis. When evaluating college running back prospects, I give bonus credit for producing as a freshman and even more credit for producing as a true freshman. Being a 1,000-yard rusher as an 18 or 19-year-old in the SEC is an incredibly impressive feat. In 2016, Trayveon had the 13th most touches in college football’s most competitive conference and finished with the 8th most yards of any running back.
2017 featured some regression for the young rusher as his yards per carry fell from 6.8 to 4.6 but he matched his eight rushing touchdowns from his true freshman season. He also added another 20 receptions which does not sound like a ton but in this class of running backs who did not catch many passes, posting three seasons of 19 or more receptions is notable. Head coach Kevin Sumlin was also fired at the end of the 2017 season which suggests that there was more going on for Williams’ production than just his own abilities.
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Trayveon Williams had his best season in his last year at Texas A&M. He lead the entire SEC in rushing yards by over 200 yards from second-place finisher Benny Snell. His 2,038 total scrimmage yards was also the most in the conference by over 300 yards. In fact, it was third in the entire country behind only my #1 running back prospect Darrell Henderson and Wisconsin’s Jonathan Taylor. He had eight 100-yard rushing games and five 150-yard rushing games. Additionally, he caught a career-high 27 passes while averaging more than 10 yards per reception.
Trayveon Williams is a solid but most unspectacular athlete, which is a depressant for his draft stock. 4,176 yards and 35 touchdowns is good SEC production but it is not on the level of someone like Nick Chubb or Mark Ingram. Some of his physical comparisons are interesting as they paint the picture of a change-of-pace back in the NFL. He is similarly-sized and athletic to Duke Johnson and Elijah McGuire who play primarily as pass-catchers in the NFL.
Williams is not the most physically imposing or athletically breath-taking runner on film. He is one of the better running backs in the 2019 NFL Draft class at getting to the edge and accelerating upfield once he gets there. The most pro-ready skillset that he showed while at Texas A&M was as a receiver. While he was not targeted heavily, he was efficient as a receiver and added several long catch and runs. A fairly bizarre thing about watching him is how often he runs directly into someone, whether a tackler or a blocker. He is a quintessential north-south runner who will get what is blocked and accelerate well through the holes that are created. Several of the draft analysts from The Draft Network noted that he is also a superior pass-blocker which works well given that he should be projected to playing on passing downs in the NFL. Hayden Winks at Rotoworld wrote “Trayveon Williams was very efficient and, at times, showed big-play ability despite average long speed. Where Williams is at his best is on passing-downs where he wins as a receiver and as a great pass blocker. There is three-down upside and a nice floor.”
Trayveon Williams Final Verdict
I came away fairly impressed with Trayveon Williams’ resume. He was able to produce at a young age in a tough athletic conference, showed that he has the ability to catch the football which matters extensively for NFL running backs and lead his team in carries for three seasons. College running backs who hold up under a full workload for three seasons have a better NFL projection than one-year starters or multi-year role players. In terms of projecting Williams for dynasty fantasy football, I would want him to land somewhere that he has a third-down role right away. Philadelphia, Tampa Bay, Houston, or Minnesota are all spots that I would view at +EV as landing spots for Trayveon Williams’ fantasy football value.