Andre Williams, 2014 NFL Draft: What They’re Saying

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"Overall, there is no doubt that he would have work to do to become a starting NFL running back. That being said, he has the work ethic that would be exactly what he needs to get to the level that he needs to be at in order to reach his full potential. His tape looks great and good coaching can fix the fumbling and receiving concerns. If there is a team that is looking for running back help in the fourth or fifth round, Williams would be a perfect selection, and could be a steal as he grows his game."

CBS Sports (Dane Brugler)

"Williams has been a workhorse for BC this season and scouts have taken notice. Scouts are understandably cautious about a running back with his durability history, but I think there is a good chance Williams ends up as one of the top-five senior RBs drafted, likely on the day three." (Nolan Nawrocki)

"Very strong, stocky, powerful runner with the instincts, contact balance and toughness to carry a heavy workload. Really emerged as a senior, when he led the nation in rushing, and proved worthy of a starting role. Limitations in the receiving game could diminish his value."

And how about how those NFL scouts on Andre Williams? Opinions remain diverse.

Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel (three scouts, anonymously quoted)

"Compared by one scout to Shonn Greene. “Really tough kid. If you want somebody to carry the ball 25 times a game between the tackles this is your guy. He’s an old-time running back. He would do better without a rotation just wearing people down. Not real elusive, but once he gets out there he just makes plays.”"

"“Lacks twitch, elude. Strong, tight, downhill, straight-line runner. Needs a lane.”"

"“Worst hands I’ve ever seen. I never even saw them pitch it to him. You would be crazy to pitch it to him. It’s so bad, you feel bad for the kid. I saw a game and the pregame was atrocious. He’s working on it, but it’s, like, ‘What have you been doing for four years?'”"

Yikes. Cool it, sparky.

Andre Williams probably goes no higher than Round 4 because it is clear that nobody is all that confident in his abilities as a pass-catcher. Some are less impressed than others. There does seem to be an acknowledgement of his talent, intellect, character, and work ethic, but there are varying degrees of how much those things matter to NFL coaches. For example, there are successful NFL players who bombed the Wonderlic, seem to have the cognitive faculties of a carrot, and aren’t the definition of “character guys” but they make millions of dollars because they can play the game the NFL way. That’s ultimately what matters to many of these front offices.

Andre Williams does fit into this NFL puzzle somewhere. This Saturday, we will find out where, but it will be up to Andre to stay there.