The second Notre Dame player is off the board in the 2022 NFL Draft. The defending Super Bowl champion Los Angeles Rams selected running back Kyren Williams at pick No. 164 overall in the fifth round.
During his career in South Bend, Williams rushed for 2,153 yards with 27 touchdowns and a 5.1 YPC average. The former Irish standout was also a dynamic pass catcher out of the backfield, accounting for 675 receiving yards and four touchdowns through the air on 78 receptions. Williams did not test well at the NFL Combine, however, resulting in a slide down the draft board.
Williams jumped from the bottom of the depth chart to become Notre Dame’s starting running back two summers ago. Many people did not know what to expect from Williams, but he consistently answered the call. A hard-nosed player who always outworks his opponent, Williams is fearless with the ball in his hands and does what is necessary to protect his quarterback when it comes to blocking.
Kyren Williams served as a captain at Notre Dame, as he was an emotional leader who always had the biggest smile on his face. He was a key piece of two 10-win seasons and had the opportunity to play in the College Football Playoff.
What Does Williams Bring to the Rams?
Getting drafted to a Los Angeles Rams team with multiple running backs on the depth chart is not the most ideal situation for Kyren Williams. But Sean McVay should be able to find snaps for Williams and utilize him in a special teams role as well. Overcoming adversity is something Williams is more than used to, but he will be competing with Cam Akers and Darrell Henderson for snaps in one of the most high-powered offenses in the NFL.
Williams joins former Notre Dame teammate Ben Skowronek on the Rams. Considering the workload Skowronek saw last season, I could see the Rams having the same level of trust in Williams when the season rolls around. Williams certainly won’t become an instant starter, but his high compete level and skill set could represent a nice change of pace back in the Rams backfield.
I was at the game with a great sideline view when Williams broke the 91-yard touchdown in the clip above. To this day, it is still the most incredible run I’ve ever seen at a live game. While general managers and scouts were concerned with his combine results and lack of difference-making size, he has the elusiveness and determination to carve out a role in the NFL.
No doubt about it, Williams will have to work just as hard in Los Angeles as he did in South Bend to climb up the depth chart. But at the very least, he is a great value pick for an offense that uses so many different playmakers throughout the season.
Stay tuned for further updates on Notre Dame players as they come off the board in the 2022 NFL Draft or as UDFA signings.
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