Summary: Ryan Williams took full advantage of teammate Darren Evans getting hurt in 2009, exploding as a redshirt freshman for 1,655 rushing yards and 21 touchdowns. However, he was the one who broke down the following year with a balky hamstring limiting him to just 110 carries over 10 games. Because he declared early for the draft, teams are forced to guess whether they are getting the potential star form he displayed in his productive season or risking a premium pick on a player who might not return to that level of play.
Williams can get through traffic and work for extra yardage even if he lacks an elite gear. Teams are going to worry about him being loose with the football because NFL defenders will turn that recklessness into turnovers in a hurry. He also has a lot to learn in the passing game if he wants to stay on the field for multiple downs.
Player Comparison: Cadillac Williams. First of all, I'm not buying any Clinton Portis comparison. Ryan Williams has not shown he can pass protect anywhere close to Portis' level. I get the zone-blocking fit although that system is not used much in the current NFL. A slightly shorter Cadillac Williams is a much better comparison. Coming out of college, both needed work in pass protection and used their leg drive to churn out yards which made up for not having top-end speed.
I'll admit I was as shocked as everyone on draft night. It took me a dew days to regain my senses and delve into what Pace actually did this off-season. This rant basically mirrors my sentiments exactly. Time will tell if this was a genius move by Pace or not, but you have to give him credit for being ballsy and aggressive.