KANSAS CITY- Running back Damien Williams is a relatively unknown player. Everyone was used to seeing Kareem Hunt run the ball for big gainers. Now that Hunt is no longer with the Chiefs, Williams will be the starting running back and faces lofty expectations. Here are the skills that Williams brings to the table in 2019.
Remember that Williams fumbled the ball on his first NFL carry last year. He followed that up with an NFL-leading 1,327 yards rushing and eight touchdowns. He also added 455 yards receiving on 53 catches with three touchdowns. To add to that, he was one of the best backs when the football was in the red zone as well. It showed the Chiefs and the NFL who the real Damien Williams really could be.
Williams has great ball carrying vision. According to scouts, Williams lacked excellent vision at Oklahoma and this hurt his draft value. He lets blocks develop and shows great patience before hitting the running lanes. He has great cut moves and is a dangerous outside runner. He has excellent strength and will shed through tacklers. He won’t necessarily bowl defenders down though. Williams is one of the more elusive backs as well as he makes defenders miss tackles. He will need to make sure he gets better at running up the middle and plowing through defenders like Leonard Fournette.
Last year, we saw the sudden emergence of Pittsburgh Steelers running back James Conner as he took Le’Veon Bell’s place as a starter. Bell sat out the 2018 season as a result of a contract dispute. Will Williams become as much a surprise as Conner? Will Williams be as effective as Hunt? The former Chiefs starter Hunt was released by the team in 2018 following a domestic violence incident. The current Cleveland Browns running back is serving an 8 game suspension.