The most valuable asset in a non-Superflex Dynasty League has always been and continues to be the bell cow three-down running back. This makes those running backs the most highly sought-after assets in dynasty rookie drafts and oftentimes those running backs will end up drafted in the first rounds of rookie draft.
(Picture is via newsobserver.com)
One of the premier running backs in the 2021 draft class that fits that mold is running back Javonte Williams from the University of North Carolina. Williams has the prototypical size (5'10" 220 lbs.) that you would want from a three-down back in the NFL. These measurements have been proven to hold up to the workload he will be tasked with at the professional level. Although Williams was never really tasked with a full workload in his college career, (Michael Carter received a lot of time at running back for UNC as well), he showed the ability to handle the premiere role in specific games. Javonte Williams had four games in 2020 in which he had 18+ touches and in those four games, he totaled 806 yards and 10 touchdowns.
A major trait of being a three-down running back in today's NFL is the ability to catch the football. Pass catching is a part of Williams' game that has steadily increased over his three years of production at North Carolina. In 2018, Williams tallied eight receptions in ten games, in 2019 he finished with 17 receptions in 13 games, and in 2020 he totaled 25 receptions in 11 games. A steady increase in production and improvement in Williams' receiving ability shows his prowess in that skillset and how that can translate to the next level.
Now that we've gone over a review on Javonte Williams' production, it's time to get into the game film and see if his production lines up with what is seen on tape.
This clip does a great job of demonstrating Javonte Williams' tackle-breaking ability and contact balance to fight through the arm tackle by the linebacker and finish the run through two defenders and get into the endzone.
Williams displays great patience in this play when he puts his hand on the back of his left tackle (#72) and waits for him to get out and make the block before he hits the gas and shoots around the end. In addition, he adds another spectacular display of power at the end of this run by fighting through three defenders before finally being dragged down.
When you're a rookie running back (or just a rookie in general), there are many times when your coaches will task you with doing the dirty work (like making a block downfield). Williams shows that ability in this play, where he is acting as a lead blocker for fellow running back Michael Carter. Williams gets outside, seeks out the incoming safety, and squares him up for a great downfield block. Williams not only shows the willingness to get down and dirty but also that he can do it at a very high level.
This play is an excellent culmination of everything that Javonte Williams can do as a running back. Miami already has four defenders in the offensive backfield by the time Williams gets the football. Javonte uses his elite vision to bounce the run outside of his pulling right tackle, hurdle the corner diving at his feet and demonstrates excellent speed by accelerating into the second level of the defense. Again he shows off his toughness and contact balance as he bounces off three defenders trying to bring him down, and spins out of another tackle attempt before finally getting cut down by an oncoming defender.
Each of these clips shows the important aspects of being an elite running back in the NFL and why Javonte Williams should be considered as one of the top running back prospects in the 2021 NFL draft class.