Karlos Williams Player Evaluation

Scout's Dave-Te Thomas breaks down Florida State running back Karlos Williams.

Karlos Williams has impressive strength, outstanding balance and quickness with that uncanny vision and awareness to quickly find the holes. He has the hip snap to easily change direction and shift gears, generating a sudden burst out of his cuts. His body control lets him pick his way through trash and he keeps his feet after contact. He is very effective at making the initial tackler miss and at anticipating the opponent’s moves (gained 71% of his yardage after initial contact).

Williams has a lot of “old school” in him, as he runs over his feet with good base and balance. He sets up his blocks well, has above average field vision and displays a natural feel for the running lanes. He can find the hole in an instant and will cutback fluidly, showing a nice bounce in his step. He has that instinctive feel and vision to spot even the slightest of crease and unlike a lot of young backs, has the patience of a veteran when it comes to following his blocks.

The ball carrier hits it up hard between the tackles and is an above average pick-&-slide runner with great body lean. He can cut on a dime when he locates the hole and has good vision and burst through the inside, generating a good surge to move the pile.

Williams can accelerate into the hole in an instant, taking no wasted steps. He has great balance and outstanding lateral agility for a big man. He shows a good short area burst of speed and while he can be run down going long distances, he is too much of a load for a secondary defender to bring down in man coverage.

The Seminole has a good short burst through the holes and excellent acceleration, along with that necessary second gear to easily pull away from second level opponents. There are times when he will rely more on power to gain yardage after initial contact rather than utilizing his hip swerve and wiggle to elude, but he is nimble moving his feet and can simply take the ball to the house if he finds the open lane.

Williams is a runaway freight train once he lowers his pads and kicks his legs into high gear. He will generally get big yardage after initial contact and runs with good body lean. He rarely misses the open crease and has an explosive burst with the leg drive to break tackles and move the pile. He is strong powering through trash on goal line plays and even when he gets high in his stance, his strength is too much for “ankle” tacklers to contain.

As a receiver, Williams possesses soft, generally reliable hands out of the backfield. In 2014, he appeared to be very comfortable catching the ball outside of his frame, extending to pluck it and secure it quickly before worrying about oncoming defenders. Used on a variety of routes in this offense, the Seminole has the speed and fluidity to get open on wheel and quick screens, as well as traditional swing passes.

Still, breaking tackles is perhaps his most impressive trait, as he his old defender’s moxie makes him relish the idea of being the one to initiate the contact rather than the defenders, providing them little to target than his helmet, shoulder and knee pads. He consistently keeps his legs driving through contact and literally runs over some opponents. He also displays a bone-jarring stiff-arm, as well as a nifty spin-off contact move and the ability to leap over defenders attempting to cut his legs out from under him.

Karlos Williams NFL Scouting Combine measurables


6-1/230 (4.48 forty)
33-inch arm length
9 3/4-inch hands
16 reps
33.5-inch vertical jump
117-inch broad jump
7.16 3 cone drill
4.46 20 yard shuttle

Dave-Te’ Thomas is a sports writer, talent evaluator and scouting personnel consultant for a majority of teams in the National Football League. Thomas runs a scouting information service called NFL Scouting Services and produces THE NFL Draft Report, a publication provided by league headquarters to the media in preparation for the NFL Draft.

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