Dynasty Draft Profile: Karlos Williams
April 2, 2015 | Chad Scott
Karlos Williams looked like a future NFL star following a junior season where he averaged 8.0 yards per carry (second in the nation) and a touchdown every 8.3 attempts. Even more impressive? It was Williams’ first year playing running back after converting over from safety.
His play earned him more playing time than James Wilder, Jr down the stretch and even Devonta Freeman lost out on touches.
Then 2014 happened.
Williams’ draft stock has crashed harder than any Steve McQueen stunt – and not as aesthetically pleasing, either. Marred by a domestic abuse investigation and suspected of robbing a fellow FSU student for that sticky-icky, Williams struggled to regain the 2013 magic the devy world was enamored with. Williams’ average yards per carry dropped to 4.5 YPC and didn’t play with the same fire we were accustomed to in the prior year.
He was able to silence some of his critics with his combine performance in the 40Yd – clocking the second-best time for running backs, behind only Jeremy Langford. An impressive feat considering his height/weight.
While sitting down to watch Williams, he was head and shoulders better in ’13 than in ’14. Whether it was trouble with the Tallahassee law, his girlfriend and their two children or (then) high expectations – something wasn’t right.
In most of my devy leagues, Williams is already rostered, but in standard dynasty leagues, what should we be willing to spend on him?
Let’s do it…
Be sure to check out other Dynasty Draft Profiles from The Fake Football:
Williams has the speed to get outside, then explodes upfield when the edge is cleared. Once he gets a full head of steam, Williams is tough to bring down due to his size and speed. While the agility scores are lackluster, his north-south running style with the occasional head juke and subtle angling of the shoulders is problematic for opposing defenses once into the second level. #Chuggington
And has the physicality to move large men when his pad level game comes correct:
Even though he lacks natural running intuition, he flashes it every so often and can rip off explosive plays when he’s in his zone. Displays nice power, vision and balance to move the chains on this first down carry:
Williams is better than most college running backs in pass protection despite playing the position for just two seasons. He’s more than willing to throw his body into defenders – size doesn’t matter to him, ladies.
This move doesn’t show up as much as I’d like it to, but with the defense crashing to its left, Williams makes a nifty (powerful) jump cut to counter the defense to pick up big yardage. (I feel like he could have housed it had he turned up field instead of cutting outside where his blocker is):
I mostly look at arm or wing span for receivers, but Williams utilizes his 33-inch arm length after cutting it back to stiff arm the defender beautifully here:
Aside from shotty play, off the field issues will loom large when we and any NFL team decides to draft Williams. If you follow along with the scouting/draft community, Williams went from a possible day one/early second selection down a full three to four rounds on play alone – and that’s not factoring in the off the field stuff.
With two separate accusations (not found guilty on either count), teams will be doing their due diligence in evaluating his character and will presumably be on a short leash if drafted at all.
Williams was able to pull in 29 receptions during this monstrosity of a season (tied for #24 in the country), but doesn’t have the greatest of hands and/or concentration. I assume this is why he started as a safety… catch much?
For a bigger back, Williams isn’t the best inside runner mostly due to the fact he runs completely upright. Again, he’s played the position just two seasons in college and is still learning as he goes. Not only does this style lend itself to a larger tackling target, potential for injury, but it also hampers balance. Shorter backs obviously have a lower center of gravity, in turn more apt to shake off a hit or get tripped up. When running upright, that all goes out the window and the slightest touch of the foot makes the runner more susceptible to eating turf.
Being 6-foot-1, Williams is already at a disadvantage and doesn’t do himself any favors by not staying low, especially on the inside. Landing destination will be huge for Williams where I think he’d fit best in any zone run blocking scheme. Due to his inexperience and style of running, a system where all he needs to do is make his cut and go best suits him. In dynasty circles, Williams is virtually an afterthought compared to his status entering 2014. Currently over at DLF, Scott Fish is running their rookie mock drafts and Williams is being selected #37 overall (RB14) – or basically the first pick in the fourth round.
These are the sort of guys I love to jump on and hope they figure out a way to turn their lives around. If Williams is the player I saw in 2013 (and stays out of trouble), he could give his owners one of the better returns this year’s rookie crop has to offer.
There’s a reason some of the top devy players acquired Williams last summer and I’ll be willing to gamble on that talent at his current price point – even in the third.