Category: Running Back

RB KARLOS WILLIAMS, FLORIDA ST.

RB #9 KARLOS WILLIAMS, FLORIDA ST.

6’1” – 219 lbs. – 4.55e

Started his collegiate career as a five-star safety recruit, appearing in a reserve/special teams role before converting to running back in 2013. Possesses prototypical size and bulk for a starting running back. Powerful runner who can gain yards after contact; capable of lowering his shoulder and punishing defenders. Has potential as a goal-line/short-yardage back. Easily runs through arm tackles. When given a hole, hits it hard and gets upfield in a hurry. Agile enough to make the first man miss; can recognize cutback lanes and find his way into the open field. Can be caught from behind but is fast enough to get to the edge and pick up chunks of yardage. Doesn’t have much tread on his tires, but fits the physical profile of a workhorse. Upside is considerable given the brevity of his career as a running back. Has played with an outstanding supporting cast and hasn’t had to carry the team; much of his production came in garbage time. Gets caught in the backfield far too often for a back with his tools; can work as a downhill back but gets too cute or tries to bounce runs outside. Pad level rises at times; naturally taller than most running backs. Sub-par balance. Has the size to develop into a quality blocker but is well below-average at this point; lacks technique and even gets overpowered at the point of attack more often than he should. Unreliable receiver who has some experience running routes in the flats but doesn’t catch the ball well; has also had some trouble handling kickoffs. Broke his wrist as a freshman, which could require a medical follow-up. Has experience as a kick returner. Defensive background could make him a candidate for early contributions on coverage units. Big, raw back who’s still learning the position but could contribute in a short-yardage/special-teams capacity early, but whose long-term starting potential may be constrained by his poor blocking, limited value as a receiver, and inconsistent play. Working as a full-time starter in 2014 with another year of experience under his belt should clarify his standing; it’s easy to imagine him succeeding, but looks more like a reserve so far.

Games watched: Duke (’13), Idaho (’13), Miami (’13), North Carolina St. (’13), Syracuse (’13), Wake Forest (’13)

RB AMEER ABDULLAH, NEBRASKA

RB #8 AMEER ABDULLAH, NEBRASKA

5’9” – 195 lbs. – 4.50e

Team captain. Smaller than you’d like from a workhorse running back, with a thin build; will enter the draft with three years of starting experience under his belt but shouldn’t be asked to carry the load in the pros. Does a lot of his work on tosses and stretch plays. Shifty, explosive runner who gets up to speed quickly and can make the first man miss; impressive jukes. Capable of making something out of nothing when the hole’s not there. Fast enough to hit the home run; speed makes him a candidate to return kicks or punts at the next level, both of which he has some experience doing. Hard runner who works to gain yardage after contact and often falls forward at the end of his carries; can run through arm tackles, but doesn’t project as a power back. Good vision and impressive balance. However, is more of an east-west runner before he reaches the line of scrimmage; has been successful bouncing runs outside at the college level, but may have difficulty doing so as a pro. Has lost twenty fumbles over three seasons; will need to hold onto the ball in order to avoid ending up in a coach’s doghouse. In some spread formations, lines up in the slot to provide an additional receiving option, although he’s generally retained as a blocker rather than sent on routes. A willing blocker whose effectiveness is somewhat constrained by his lack of size; doesn’t stay on his feet to engage rushers, but must go low in order to obstruct their path. Gets overwhelmed on contact when he tries to remain upright. Will be entering the draft with three years of starting experience under his belt; has been able to stay healthy so far, but the amount of times he’s carried the ball may concern teams. Does a respectable job in blitz pickup and has been effective running the ball out of spread formations, which should help him compete for snaps as a team’s third-down specialist, but must prove that he can run between the tackles and protect the football in order to establish himself as a member of a team’s running-back rotation. Success as a return specialist in college will help him distinguish himself from some of the draft’s other third-day running backs.

Games watched: Georgia (’12), UCLA (’12), Illinois (’13), Southern Mississippi (’13)