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2021 NFL Draft profile: Javonte Williams gives Dolphins power back to pair with Myles Gaskin

North Carolina v Virginia Photo by Ryan M. Kelly/Getty Images

The 2021 NFL Draft is just three days away. We are finally going to end the rumors, speculation, smokescreens, and mock drafts - for this year at least. The mocks for 2022 will start on Saturday night - but that is not the point right now. Between now and the start of Round 1, we are taking a look at some of the potential targets for the Miami Dolphins.

From now through Thursday, we will bring you a profile featuring some of the potential Dolphins draft prospects. We will look at the player’s measurables, what analysts are saying about the player, and how he could fit in with the Dolphins.

Next up on the list, North Carolina running back Javonte Williams:

College Career

Career: 34 games, 366 att, 2,297 yards, 29 TDs, 50 recs, 539 yards, 4 TDs

  • Freshman (2018, North Carolina): 10 games, 43 att, 224 yards, 5 TDs, 8 rec, 58 yards
  • Sophomore (2019, North Carolina): 13 games, 166 att, 933 yards, 5 TDs, 17 rec, 176 yards, 1 TD
  • Junior (2020, North Carolina): 11 games, 157 att, 1,140 yards, 19 TDs, 25 rec, 305 yards, 3 TDs

Measurements

From UNC pro day:

Height: 5’ 9-5/8”
Weight: 212 lbs
Arm Length: 30-7/8”
Hand size: 9-3/8”

Spider Chart (via MockDraftable.com)

Combine-style testing

From UNC pro day:

Bench Press: 22 reps
Vertical: 36”

Broad jump: 10’ 3”
40-yard dash: 4.57 sec
20-yard shuttle: 4.09 sec
3-cone drill: 6.93 sec

What the are saying

Brandon Anderson, Tar Heel Blog - Overall, it wouldn’t surprise me if Javonte Williams was one of the first players drafted in the second round of this draft. There are a number of teams that could use a running back that would be able to give them production almost immediately, and he is absolutely a player that would do just that. I can see him having a very successful career wherever he ends up, and we should expect to see a lot of fun highlights early and often.

Lance Zierlein, NFL.com - Big, broad bully back who runs with an exciting blend of animosity and feel as a future every-down starter in the league. With just 366 carries under his collegiate belt, Williams hasn’t seen much tread come off the tires, but teams might speculate that his running style could lead to some in-season wear and tear. He’s a terror behind his pads, creating yardage by battering and discarding tackle attempts. He sees the front fairly well and has above-average hips and the creativity to add to his rush total with more than just power. He lacks run-away speed for the long touchdowns but runs with above-average vision and contact balance to succeed at a high rate near the goal line. He tends to trust the blocking scheme and keep his runs on track but can recalibrate when needed. Williams is best-suited to gap, power and inside zone rather than flowing wide, where he lacks one-cut quickness. He will drop passes from time to time but has the route-running and protection toughness to take over as a three-down RB1 fairly early in his career.

Daniel Jeremiah, NFL.com - Williams is a thick, compact running back with outstanding vision, power and quickness. He is quick to find/attack the hole with a bounce in his step on inside runs. He has tremendous lateral quickness to make defenders miss in tight quarters. He runs with a low pad level and accelerates through contact. Williams has the burst to get the edge on outside runs and he’s elusive once he gets into the open field. He is effective as a checkdown option in the passing game and flashes some route polish on angle routes in the middle of the field. He has reliable hands, although you will see some double catches. He is aware in pass protection and can squat and absorb blitzers. Overall, Williams is a complete player and could emerge as the best running back in the 2021 class.

Tony Pauline, Pro Football Network - Williams is a bruising ball carrier who doles out a lot of punishment, running with an aggressive style and consistently finding ways to pick up yardage. He’s best running downhill, but I fully expect Williams will break in with the first team at the next level if put in the proper system.

ESPN.com - Williams is a tightly packed back with excellent acceleration and burst. He added nearly 20 pounds to his frame two years ago and became a much more physical back. He seeks out contact and has excellent contact balance. He breaks more tackles than any running back we studied on tape. He hits the hole hard but also does a great job of setting up blocks — and he has outstanding open-field vision to set up multiple cuts and make defenders miss. His ball skills are average at best. Williams is a plug-and-play starter in the NFL.

Dolphins fit

The Dolphins will likely be looking to come out of this year’s Draft with one of the top three running backs. While Najee Harris and Travis Etienne are the most talked about rushers this year, Williams has quietly moved up the draft boards to the point that he is on equal footing with the other two. Having just 366 rushing attempts (compared to 638 for Harris and 686 for Etienne), Williams has plenty of tread still on the tires. As said throughout the “what they are saying” section, he is a power back who will run through players, but has the acceleration and agility to also make people miss. He does not have the long-run speed, but he has the ability to pick up chunk yards when needed. Pairing him with Myles Gaskin gives the Dolphins a solid top of the depth chart to immediately take some of the pressure away from quarterback Tua Tagovailoa.