The LA Rams faced the 2022 season in need of a healthy set of legs, so the selection of 5-foot-9 194-pound running back Kyren Williams out of Notre Dame with the 164th pick was a surprisingly wise choice.
What does the team need for this position?
While the Rams remain committed to their existing running back stable of Cam Akers, Darrell Henderson, Xavier Jones, Jake Funk, and Raymond Calais, the team entered this season welcoming all five players back from a wide range of injuries suffered in 2021. Because the team is uncertain of just how far any of their existing runners have returned to their pre-injury potential, the roster needed a running back who could theoretically slide into the role of any other rusher.
What does this rookie deliver?
Shockingly, Kyren Williams is a bad-ass rusher who not only can fill the need of any other rusher on the roster, but he can also pick up some of the roles vacated by veteran RB Sony Michel. Williams is a power runner who can rush effectively between the tackles. He can also test and threaten the perimeter of the defense. He is solid at pass blocking, and he can also be quite effective as a pass receiver.
Perhaps the biggest surprise is how powerful this guy runs. He finds and slips through the smallest creases, and he is very adept at remaining in the shadow of his blockers until, the last possible moment.
Who else was available?
LA Rams draft Kyren Williams: Here are 2 prospects left on the board.
Instant reaction: Williams feels like a complete bullseye for the Rams scouts and personnel office. He was compared to Chargers RB Austin Ekeler. While an obvious plug-n-play replacement if Darrell Henderson tests the free agency market in 2023, Williams can effectively assume almost any rusher’s role in the LA Rams offense.
Draft Grade: A+. Even if he does not get a great deal of playing time, I’m completely thrilled that the team did more than hope all of the 2021 injured players would be in tip-top shape this year.