Film Review: Joe Williams
By: Joel Davis (Twitter: @PhilNantz)
Updated: 6/16/2017

Joe Williams is a prospect that I have watched literally no film on prior to this article. Surprisingly, I do not watch a lot of Utah games, being here in West Virginia. Based on the fantasy community and their reaction, Joe Williams is far and away better than Carlos Hyde, and will be the starter this year, without a doubt.

I am not so sure.

There is no question about Joe’s explosiveness. He builds up so much momentum before he even hits the line of scrimmage, that I halfway expect him to bounce off anyone who attempts to tackle him. Watch this run at 2:51.

It is apparent that he has enough breakaway speed to hit a long touchdown if you give him the opportunity.

He did not get a lot of receiving work in college, which is common for most college running backs. I was impressed on his body control on the few catches he did make in his 2016 campaign, but that totaled 9 balls. I would not consider it a knock, but it is definitely less than impressive when you catch only 20 passes in 2 years.

Joe is not exactly a patient runner, which is not a knock on his talent, just his style. We cannot expect everyone to be Le’Veon Bell, guys. Joe tends to run laterally when there is not a hole, searching for an opening to bust through. Most of his snaps were taken from the pistol, or gun. The fact that he does not have a lot of experience in the singleback, or I-Formation, should be concerning for a transition to the NFL. I believe that some of Williams’ power comes from his long starts that he obtains in the pistol, which is not often run in the NFL.

Joe Williams is quick, and has nice power for his size. Although he is quick, Joe is not extremely shifty. What I consider “shiftiness” to be is the ability to make a defender in the open field miss a tackle. Watch how he breaks through the line here, 20 seconds in:

When Joe gets to the second level, he almost does not know what to do in the open field, and actually runs toward the defender, instead of trying to make him miss. He does much better in a situation where he needs to get through the line to breakaway, rather than shed a tackle in a one-on-one situation.

Overall, Joe Williams is most unquestionably a player worth monitoring this season. He will most likely take whatever his offensive line will give him, which a lot of rookies can not do. He is probably not going to be on the field for 3rd downs, and is most likely not a better player than Carlos Hyde at this point in his career. Joe can still develop, and could become a very good running back in the NFL, but I would much rather wait and see how he grows as a player before I invest a lot of shares in him.