Rams turn to the backfield in 2022
In the 2022 NFL Draft, the LA Rams waited until Round 5 to select RB Kyren Williams with the 164th pick. The original plan was to add the successor for change-of-pace RB Darrell Henderson Jr., a player whose contract would expire at the end of the 2022 NFL season. But what the LA Rams ended up with was so much more.
We were impressed with the unique combination of qualities that Kyren Williams possessed in his college football days. Hailing out of Notre Dame, Williams continuously faced strong college defense. And the Fighting Irish ran a professional style offense, one that allowed NFL scouts and personnel executives to easily translate what Williams did in college to the NFL level.
Rams have found their feature RB
What we missed in our original assessment after his selection is his ability to handle a workload of an NFL offense.
While Williams never got 'on track,' in 2022, and hit a speed bump in 2023 due to injuries. the performance in 2023 so far has catapulted him to the runner up of NFL running backs with 11 appearances and just 10 starts. To be fair, all other top tier NFL running backs have started 14 NFL games. Williams leads all NFL RBs with a average of 96.3 yards per game.
So far in 2023, Williams has rushed for over 100 yards in six of his 10 starts. And he has only been held out of the endzone in three of his 11 appearances for the Rams offense. There is only one other RB who has more rushing yards than Kyren Williams in 2023, San Francisco 49ers RB Christian McCaffrey. But before you have any regrets over McCaffrey's accomplishments, know this. McCaffrey has required three more games to add 235 yards more than Williams.
The only question remaining is: Can Kyren Williams keep up this pace? I think so, as he keeps getting stronger with each game.