Welcome to the 20/20 series. As part of our continued Dynasty Scouts coverage and in preparation for the NFL Combine, we will be profiling 20 of the top incoming rookies of the class of 2019 by giving you 20 facts you must know.
1.) Player Name – Trayveon Williams
2.) College – Texas A&M Aggies
3.) Height/Weight – 5’9”, 200
4.) Birthdate – 10/18/1997
5.) Class – Junior
6.) Basic college stats –
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Stats courtesy of sports-reference.
7.) NFL Draft round projection – Trayveon Williams is a highly decorated SEC runner who should test fairly well. I feel current projections are a bit conservative on his draft stock. Williams is a big-play threat with three-down potential who competes like mad in pass protection. I expect him to be one of the first half-dozen runners off the board.
8.) Current NFL comp – In terms of being an explosive runner who lacks some nuance as a prospect, Williams profiles similarly to Marlon Mack. Mack was an explosive back at South Florida who could be a magician in the opening field yet lacked some creativity as a runner. Mack has established himself as a quality back at the NFL level due to his plus attributes. Looking past Williams’ warts and focusing on what he can do leads you to believe he has the toolkit to be an effective lead back.
9.) Best possible destination – While there are certainly questions surrounding the offense and the whims of Jon Gruden, the Raiders seem like a soft landing spot for Williams. He’d add a bit more dynamism than Jalen Richard and could earn early playing time given his pass-blocking chops. Only a pair of aging runners stand in the way of any rookie earning a serious snap share, and Williams’ all-around ability gives him a chance to compete in camp and long-term.
10.) Worst possible destination – Jacksonville does not figure to a be a major player in the running back market given they spent a premium pick on Leonard Fournette merely two years ago. But Fournette has had a volatile career thus far and the Jaguars could lose productive if uninspiring backup T.J. Yeldon to free agency. Given Fournette’s health question marks, they’ll need security behind him. Yet their power running style and commitment to setting offensive football back decades is not conducive to Williams’ game, as he is built for a more spread out system which highlights his passing game strengths.
11.) Best current skill – Williams does a lot of things well but perhaps none better than pass protection. Pass protection for runners is all about effort and technique, two skills the former Aggie back possesses in spades.
12.) Skill that needs to be improved – As mentioned above, Williams is not the most creative runner. He tends to rely on speed and good feet more than instincts. It is not a death sentence for him as a pro if a team finds a way to tailor his game to his strengths, yet it currently stands between Williams being a good prospect and a great one.
13.) Past/current rookie ADP – Williams is currently going as the 24th rookie off the board in DLF ADP, and the 11th running back off the board. I expect his stock to rise when we have a full athletic profile on him.
14.) Projected dynasty value – All it takes is one strong game for a young rookie back’s stock to skyrocket. Such is the thirst for a foundation piece at the position in dynasty leagues. I doubt we ever see Williams ascend to untouchable asset status, yet the aforementioned Mack may be a good gauge for where we see Williams settle in come 2020.
15.) Recruiting Profile – Williams was a four-star Composite Recruit, per 247’s rankings, the eighth-ranked all-purpose back in his class. The Texas native had offers from most all of the in-state powers, yet momentum always seemed to be pushing him to Texas A&M with 86% of the Crystal Ball predictions picking the Aggies as leaders for his services.
16.) Rejuvenated Under Jimbo Fisher – After an impressive freshman season, Williams appeared to stagnate in his sophomore season, a common affliction of Kevin Sumlin coached players. However, Jimbo Fisher’s arrival led to a resurgence and Williams’ best year yet. Generally, a coach who favors one lead runner, Fisher leaned on Williams and was rewarded with a monster season from the junior back. Had the Aggies continued to roll with Sumlin’s offense in 2018, we may not be talking about Williams in the same light.
17.) Nearly a Horned Frog – De-commitments from top prospects are certainly far from rare in college football, but Williams was committed to TCU for nearly six months prior to flipping to Texas A&M. The Horned Frogs have had a decent stable of backs since with Kyle Hicks, Darius Anderson, and Sewo Olonilua, though none have had the impact Williams could have had for Gary Patterson’s program.
18.) A Family Affair – Williams was largely raised by his aunt and uncle – whom he considers parents – with his biological mother and grandfather also playing a large role in his upbringing. Those strong family ties led Williams to Texas A&M and nurtured his upbeat personality.
19.) Closing on a High Note – Dave Doeren likely still has nightmares of Trayveon Williams running through his defense. Williams ran for 236 yards and three scores on 19 carries against the Wolfpack in the Gator Bowl. Over his last five games, Williams’ low mark for rushing yards was 107 in an early November loss to Auburn. Including in the mix was a heroic 35-carry, 198-yard effort in A&M’s epic seven overtime win over LSU. He closed with panache against some stout defensive fronts.
20.) Varying Projections – Draft projections have Williams anywhere from round two to priority free agent. He seems to be a polarizing prospect due to size and feel concerns. I have doubts the NFL will be as low on him as many draft analysts are, though it would not be the first time I have been wrong (or second… or third… well, you get the idea).
Looking for more draft research material? You can find game tape and highlight videos on our NFL Draft Prospect Videos page!