After using most of the draft to address their horrendous 2012 defense and offensive line, the Indianapolis Colts finally went with a skill position with their first pick in the seventh round by selecting running back Kerwynn Williams from Utah State.
The Colts haven't given Andrew Luck any elite weapons so far in his career outside of an aging Reggie Wayne, and while Williams will have an uphill battle to be anywhere near elite, his unique speed makes him a potential home-run hitter.
At running back, the Colts figure to have Donald Brown, Vick Ballard and Delone Carter competing for carries. Williams will fight to be a utility-type back for the Colts—someone who can come in on passing downs and contribute out of the backfield. If he can, he may give the Colts the option to cut Brown, who is in the final year of his contract.
But the most probable contribution that Williams will make is in the return game. The Colts allowed Deji Karim, who was the primary kick returner in 2012, to leave in free agency, and T.Y. Hilton may become too valuable of a receiver to sacrifice on punt returns. Williams' speed makes him a good option in that role.
As mentioned above, Williams' speed is his biggest asset; he had the third-fastest 40 time (4.48 seconds) at the combine. His top-end speed allows him to outrun anybody when he gets in space, and if he gets up to speed before he hits the line of scrimmage, he can bounce off tacklers.
He's skilled at using subtle movements in the hole to avoid tacklers, relying on his small stature and speed to slip by defenders.
With short hands and solid route-running abilities, Williams is a very good option in the passing game. Utah State lined him up out wide in five-receiver sets, and Pep Hamilton will be able to line him up all over the field, much like a Darren Sproles.
Williams also has gotten praise from his college coaches, and he is known to be coachable without any off-the-field issues.
Williams' small stature may be an asset when it comes to avoiding defenders, but it also means he's not a good option in the power-run game. The Colts are looking to switch to more of a power game, and Williams won't be that type of back. He won't be a three-down guy, although he can still contribute.
His vision when running out of the backfield is questionable; he's much more effective when put in space or given one lane to run straight ahead into. His lateral quickness is merely average.
While Williams is a very good option in the passing game, he's not good at pass-blocking, which will limit his use.
I like this pick in the seventh round, even if it meant missing out on a few of my favorite prospects elsewhere. Williams has the ability to contribute on special teams, something the Colts need to find with Karim gone. If Williams hits his full potential, he could be used in all kinds of ways on offense in a utility role.
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