Kyren Williams’ draft selection adapts after two seasons of championship effort

His tape suggests that the Super Bowl champion Los Angeles Rams found a flight in the fifth round.

His NFL Draft Combine numbers suggest otherwise, though most of those shortcomings in Indianapolis were mitigated by Kyren Williams’ performance a month later in South Bend.

His performance when judged by a stopwatch or steady orange cones aside, the consensus on Williams is that Notre Dame’s indomitable leader can play football – arguably in a more breathtaking and inspiring way than any Irishman since the turn of the century.

And while Williams’ two-year production at Notre Dame speaks volumes, it’s the method with which he racked up those 27 touchdowns and more than 2,800 scrimmage yards in a dramatic 2020-21 run for the Brian Kelly’s Irishman Who Matters Most.

He gave it his all on nearly every race, which made him a fan and media favorite, and his phone conversion with Los Angeles during Saturday’s fixture selection.

“Coach, you’ve got this one, I promise…I swear…I promise you’re going to get it all from me,” Williams told the Rams head coach. Sean McVay.

Williams joins a Rams backfield with Cam Akers (Florida State) and Darrell Henderson Jr. (SMU), and in his case, that’s a good thing, because Williams enters the NFL as a Swiss army knife only back. He is an accomplished pass catcher and protector, a proven runner, and, as he was intentionally showcased during his on-campus Pro Day training, a capable slot machine receiver.

(Irish fans are well aware of his pass-catching prowess, but to put it in perspective, Williams ranked fifth among FBS in running backs in catches (77) and receiving yards (663). ) in 2020-21 by ESPN.comis Sarah Barshop.)

While Williams was more than numbers in terms of importance to Notre Dame’s offense over a 24-game stretch, the stats remain impressive:

  • 23 of his 27 touchdowns were scored against the opposition Power 5
  • 58 missed forced tackles in 21; 38 in 20 by Pro Football Focus
  • A total of 1,453 yards after contact
  • 77 receptions on 88 targets with three drops
  • 8 fumbles (whether lost or recovered)
  • 54 career carries over 10 yards
  • 16 career rushes of 20+
  • 8 of 30+
  • 7 of 40+
  • 4 of 50+
  • 3 of 60+
  • And 91 rushing yards last fall — one of three players nationally to accomplish that feat in 2021 (Michigan State’s Kenneth WalkerJr. and Northwestern’s Evan Hull) with two more in 2020.

Irish Illustrated noted that Williams came in and out of the NFL Combine – regardless of his surprisingly poor performance – as a championship piece when added to any roster, but in an ideal world, as part of ‘a backfield by committee for a franchise that shares its approach to sports.

His draft selection solidifies that position.

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