The Green Bay Packers have their tandem in the backfield with fourth-round pick Jamaal Williams of BYU.
Williams (6-0 3/8, 212) joins Ty Montgomery after setting BYU’s career rushing record, breaking a record that had stood for 54 years. He rushed for 1,233 yards and seven touchdowns as a sophomore in 2013. Big things were expected as a junior in 2014. However, he was suspended for the opener for underage consumption of alcohol and then the final four games with a torn ACL. Then, with the 2015 fall camp under way, he left the team following another violation of team rules. The violation? He had a girl in his dorm room, he said with a laugh at the Combine. He explained it the same way during his conference call after being picked.
“It really wasn’t a big deal to everybody (scouts and coaches),” Williams said. “Once I told them, they pretty much were laughing and praised me in saying that I’m strong and praised me for sticking it out at BYU because I could have went to somewhere else.”
Williams returned as a senior and rushed for 1,375 yards and 12 touchdowns in 10 games, missing two games with an ankle injury. His 137.5 rushing yards per game ranked fifth in the nation. Perhaps more impressive than the production was that his teammates voted him a captain.
His career total: 3,901 yards (5.4 average) and 35 touchdowns on the ground and 60 receptions — 27 of which came as a freshman. He’s got size (6-0 3/8, 212 pounds) – getting away from the college diet of ramen and oatmeal will help him add additional weight -- and athleticism (4.59 in the 40 at the Combine; 4.26 shuttle at pro day was among the fastest in the draft class).
He was the 16th running back selected, with Green Bay taking him with the second of its fourth-round picks, No. 134 overall.
“He’s a really good value pick,” Packers scout Jon-Eric Sullivan said.
He'll need to produce in a short-handed backfield led by Montgomery and Christine Michael.
"I felt that Green Bay would be a good spot for me," he said. "I thought about it and I think I could really fit in with Green Bay and their offense. They don’t really have a lot of running backs."
Ball security (two fumbles as a senior and five for his career) is a plus, as should be the expectation for a back with 10-inch hands. He appears to be a good schematic fit for the Packers, who covet three-down rushers who are capable runners, receivers and blockers.
“He’s an aggressive, downhill runner,” Sullivan said. “He’s tough. He’s built to last. We’re excited about him. We got a good football player, a guy who complements that we already have here. Very excited to get him.”
Bill Huber is publisher of PackerReport.com and has written for Packer Report since 1997. E-mail him at firstname.lastname@example.org or leave him a question in Packer Report’s subscribers-only Packers Pro Club forum. Find Bill on Twitter at www.twitter.com/PackerReport.