Javonte Williams Drafted by Broncos: Denver's Updated Depth Chart After Round 2

Adam Wells@adamwells1985Featured ColumnistApril 30, 2021

North Carolina's Javonte Williams (25) runs the ball against North Carolina State during the second half of an NCAA college football game in Raleigh, N.C., Saturday, Nov. 30, 2019. (AP Photo/Karl B DeBlaker)
Karl B DeBlaker/Associated Press

Running back Javonte Williams will be a key piece of the offense for the Denver Broncos starting in 2021.

The Broncos selected the North Carolina star with the 35th overall pick in the NFL draft Friday after trading with the Atlanta Falcons to move up five spots:

Ian Rapoport @RapSheet

The #Broncoos trade with the #Falcons: Pick 35 and 219 for 40 and 114. https://t.co/YmFeSFP6LU

Williams' presence adds another player to the backfield for Denver. Here's what the organization's depth chart looks like with the 21-year-old on the roster.


Broncos' Offensive Depth Chart

QB: Drew Lock, Teddy Bridgewater, Brett Rypien, Jeff Driskel

RB: Melvin Gordon, Javonte Williams, Royce Freeman

FB: Andrew Beck, Jeremy Cox

WR 1: Courtland Sutton

WR 2: Jerry Jeudy

WR 3: Tim Patrick, KJ Hamler, Daesean Hamilton

TE: Noah Fant, Albert Okwuegbunam

LT: Garrett Bolles, Calvin Anderson

LG: Dalton Risner, Austin Schlottmann

C: Lloyd Cushenberry III

RG: Graham Glasgow, Netane Muti

RT: Ja'Wuan James, Quinn Bailey

Depth chart info provided by Ourlads and Over the Cap.


Williams declared for the NFL draft coming off a breakout 2020 season with the Tar Heels. He was named a second-team All-American and ACC Player of the Year by Pro Football Focus after running for 1,140 yards and 19 touchdowns on 157 carries.

Here's what Anthony Treash of Pro Football Focus wrote about Williams when he was named conference player of the year:

"The Tar Heel's 95.9 rushing grade wasn't just the highest of the entire 2020 season, it was the best we have ever recorded at the position since PFF College began seven years ago.

"Williams made defenses look silly week after week in 2020. He has broken 0.48 tackles per attempt this season with his top-notch balance and agility. That is also a PFF College record. Not to mention, nearly 27% of his carries this season have resulted in a 10-plus yard gain, the highest rate among running backs this season."

North Carolina had one of the nation's best running-back tandems last season. Williams split carries with Michael Carter, who was named to the All-ACC first team after racking up 1,245 yards on 156 attempts.

Williams decided to capitalize on his breakout year by foregoing his senior year and declaring for the draft.

Tony Pauline of Pro Football Network offered this scouting report for Williams coming into the NFL:

"Williams is a bruising ball carrier who doles out a lot of punishment, running with an aggressive style and consistently finding ways to pick up yardage. He's best running downhill, but I fully expect Williams will break in with the first team at the next level if put in the proper system."

One thing that likely helped Williams' draft stock from his 2020 season was his increased usage in the passing game. He caught a career-high 25 passes for 305 yards and three touchdowns.

Williams told reporters in March that he's tried to model his game "like a mixture of Alvin Kamara and Nick Chubb."

Those are two of the best all-around running backs in the league, which is what the Broncos hope Williams can turn into.

Williams figures to form a one-two backfield punch with Melvin Gordon and could perhaps see the lion's share of the carries before the season ends. He takes the place of running back Phillip Lindsay, who left in free agency for the Houston Texans in March.

Denver has plenty of talent at the skill positions with wideout Courtland Sutton returning from injury and a loaded pass-catching crew (e.g. tight end Noah Fant, wide receivers Jerry Jeudy and Tim Patrick) coming back. If Drew Lock makes a leap in his third season, the Broncos could have an explosive offense in 2021.