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NFL Draft 2020 Scouting Reports: RB Ty’Son Williams, BYU (written in 2021)

Date:
September 11, 2021

NFL Draft 2020 Scouting Reports: RB Ty’Son Williams, BYU (our regular format CFM scouting report version posted on CFM)

*Our RB grades can and will change as more information comes in from Pro Day workouts, leaked Wonderlic test results, etc. We will update ratings as new info becomes available.

*We use the term “Power RB” to separate physically bigger, more between-the-tackles–capable RBs from our “speed RBs” group. “Speed RBs” are physically smaller, but much faster/quicker, and less likely to flourish between the tackles.


Yes, we’re doing a 2020 Scouting Report in 2021…for good reason. Ty’Son Williams gave no signals that there was anything worth researching deeper in pandemic 2020 pre-NFL Draft studies/analytics. He had a bland, forgettable college career and then with Pro Days getting cancelled for COVID, he had to do one of those home-grown videotaped ones that you question the results of…especially for someone with a non-attention-getting college career. He seemed destined for the UDFA ranks and then fully ignored by the NFL…a ‘nothing’ of a career seemed likely.

But nothing like three ACL tears in a month to the three RBs listed above you on the (Ravens) depth chart to suddenly get you noticed…

Williams is one of the talks of Fantasy Football going into Week 1 – is he trustworthy as a performer? Is he really ‘the man’ for Baltimore? Is he going to take a back seat to all the ‘names’ brought in by Baltimore (Murray-Bell-Freeman)?

We’ll get into all that, but first let us discover more about ‘who Williams is’ as we look at his background and then get into his capabilities…

 

BACKGROUND

High School: The #1 rated player in South Carolina in 2015. The #11 RB in the nation for a top service (I think it was ESPN). A four-star back. Chose UNC over Clemson, Georgia, Michigan, and Wisconsin (among others).

2015: Played right away at UNC, no redshirt…but was lightly used. Did get 10 carries vs. Duke later in the season as his bigger freshman moment but mostly a lightly used backup. UNC had two NFL RBs ahead of him (Elijah Hood and T.J. Logan) and the head coach was running with Marquise Williams at QB taking a ton of carries (as Mitch Trubisky, inexplicably, sat on the bench).

2016: Transferred to South Carolina. Sat out a year. Was named co-offensive scout team player of the year.

2017: Was a starter but splitting carries per the offensive game plan. Averaged 5.0 yards per carry but only 95 carries in 12 games.

2018: More splitting of the touches by design. Dealt with a hand injury in the second half of the season, missed a few games…only 8 games played on the season.

2019: Grad transfer to BYU. Tore his ACL after 4 games.

2020: Homemade Pro Day – 6’0”/221, 4.48 40-time, 6.81 three-cone, 24 bench reps. UDFA signee of the Ravens.

You could look at Williams’s college career and write it off as ‘negative’ – an ACL, no major breakout season nor even a 100+ yard rushing game. Three different schools.

You could also look at some glass half-full aspects…played right away as a freshman (not redshirted). Transferred and earned a starting role as a RS-Sophomore…and then starter again as a RS-Senior with a different school. What might have been had he not torn his ACL in 2019?

Williams played 3.5 games (approx..) before the ACL happened. If you take his 2019 total stats and multiply by 4 (for a 14-game season). You would get the following output: 172 carries, 1,056 rush yards (5.4 ypc), 12 rush TDs, 28 catches, 188 rec. yards. If you saw those numbers with a 220+ guy running a 4.4+ 40-time and sub-7.0 three-cone hitting the 2020 NFL Draft, we might have all taken him more seriously.

*And note: his 3.5 games in 2019 with BYU were all against ranked level teams, from the PAC-12 and SEC (Utah, Tenn, USC, Washington). He probably would’ve broken out against the easier part of the BYU schedule after this, but he tore his ACL.

Williams was a later-in-the-process signee to the Ravens in 2020, as a UDFA afterthought…but he instantly made an impression. I’ve listened to other Ravens players discuss the ‘wow’ when they saw Williams hit the camp. They knew he was no joke, right away. Ditto the coaches. In a pandemic year, the Ravens got to easily hide him on the practice squad. He was activated for a game in 2020 but didn’t see any touches. Not bad for a forgotten UDFA RB.

In 2021, with a real preseason and real preseason games…Williams impressed immediately. By Week 3 of the preseason, he was obviously going to make the team. He was positioned ahead of Justice Hill as the #2 back to work with #1 back Gus Edwards (with J.K. Dobbins out). Then Justice went down…then Gus went down…and suddenly Ty’Son was left standing as the lead back with a week to go until opening day.

Since Ty’Son became the only live back, the Ravens went out and signed several backs. We’ll get into Williams’s outlook in 2021 over them a little later in this report. But we’ve gone through the Ty’Son bio, now let’s see if he can really play?

Yes, he can…that’s my take on watching him from the season. More of a ‘Oh, hell yeah he can play’. No non-starting RB was more impressive in the 2021 NFL preseason, to my eyes, than Ty’Son Williams. A 6’0”/220 RB with very nimble feet and good vision for the interior running game…and catches the ball very well, Plus he’s a pretty solid pass blocker as well. If he were compared to the 2021 NFL Draft RB prospects, I would put him as a contender for a top 3 RB ranking in the class – better than Trey Sermon or Rhamondre Stevenson…and better than the Michael Carter types (smaller, scat back) that are not a real comp. Also, better than Travis Etienne.

Worst case, closer to Trey Sermon…best case, the #2 back behind Javonte Williams…potentially ahead of Najee Harris – talent-wise, all-around (because he’s quicker/faster than Harris).

To me, he moves like a bigger LeSean McCoy…he is so shifty for his size. I see some lesser Joe Mixon, bigger LeSean McCoy, and poor man’s Javonte Williams all mixed together here.

Take a look at his abilities for yourself:

2017-18 (and do yourself a favor and mute the sound because it’s garbage/explicit music for the background): https://youtu.be/SLXWzQ2JqDg

2019: https://youtu.be/TsmGz5TkBns

2019: The ACL tear… https://youtu.be/H5E8NknIqUQ

2021: all his preseason touches: https://youtu.be/aTzLAL_Urso

 

Williams deserves more attention as a prospect, but it’s totally understandable why he flew (and continues to fly) way under the radar given his non-attention-getting college career. He’s got size, ability, and is lauded by coaches and teammates wherever he goes, college or pro. There’s something here…and it’s going to get a chance to shine in 2021 through an odd set of circumstances. 


Ty’Son Williams, Through the Lens of Our RB Scouting Algorithm:

Never rushed for 100+ yards in a game in college. Had three 90+ yard rushing games, however. 

Did have a 105-yard receiving game in 2018 vs. Ole Miss.

Only 233 rushing attempts in his college career…low tread on the tires. 

(from earlier, if you take his 2019 and extrapolate into a 14-game season) 172 carries, 1,056 rush yards (5.4 ypc), 12 rush TDs, 28 catches, 188 rec. yards.

Preseason 2021…

24 carries, 130 rush yards (5.4 ypc), two 20+ yard runs, 1 rush TD and 8 catches (on 8 targets) for 47 yards, 0 TDs.


The Historical RB Prospects to Whom Ty’Son Williams Most Compares Within Our System:

Jaylen Samuels makes a lot of sense as a comp here (in my mind’s eye)…don’t forget, Samuels has popped in the NFL when given a chance. Williams is a more accomplished runner, a better instinctual runner than Samuels in my judgment.

I know, you saw Saquon Barkley on here and couldn’t get past it. Part of what the computer sees (and take into consideration the Combine for Barkley vs. homemade Pro Day, but I’m listing the data of record as we know it)…

6’0”/221, 4.48 40-time, 6.81 three-cone, 24 bench reps = Ty’Son Williams (2020)

5’10”/222, 4.50 40-time, 6.85 three-cone, 22 bench reps = Saquon Barkley (2017)

*COMP BOARD on the CFM Scouting Report


2020 NFL Draft Outlook:

Was destined to be a UDFA…no real Pro Day due to COVID and a mediocre college career with two transfers. 


NFL Outlook:   

Williams is the most experienced (playbook-wise) RB for the Ravens as of Week 1 of 2021. Should be the starter

Many people think it will be Latavius Murray or Le’Veon Bell, or some combo therein. Note the deals these veteran guys got and see that it is just the Ravens desperately adding veteran guys (all that’s available) because they went from 4 to 3 to 2 to 1 running backs on the roster. They had to add whatever as fast as possible just to have live bodies…because what if Ty’Son got hurt?

 

Let’s look at Ty’Son’s Week 1/season ahead competition…

-The first thing the Ravens did after Gus Edwards went down was sign Le’Veon Bell…to the practice squad. One-year, $252K, no guarantee. He’s still on the practice squad.

-Then they signed Trenton Cannon for one-year $920K…and he went to the main roster.

-Then they signed Devonta Freeman for one year, $252K, no guarantee…to the practice squad, where he still resides as of 9/11.

-Then Latavius Murray became available late in the game, and they added him on a one-year, $1.0M deal with NO guarantees…but a +$1M in incentives if he can hit them. Murray is on the main roster.

The Ravens added four RBs at the minimum contracts that they could…guys that they could cut in an instant and it cost them nothing to do so. They are just signing any warm body trying to figure all this out.

Le’Veon looked shot a year+ ago. Devonta is at the end of his career/abilities. Cannon never was. Latavius has been good for years, but he looked pretty broken down in the preseason and thus the Saints moved on.

None of these veteran guys are as talented as Ty’Son Williams today…and certainly none of them know the playbook as well. For Week 1…it’s Ty’Son. For the season ahead, competing with all these vets – it’s Ty’Son over all of them. If Murray was just dogging it in the preseason with the Saints, and really does still have some juice left…then there’s a split between them coming, but Williams still the man over him. Latavius is almost 32 years old…there’s not a ton left in the tank here.

The Ravens needed to add veterans around Williams to help him acclimate and in case Williams twists an ankle or fumbles from nerves, etc. They may snatch a young RB off a practice squad ahead, to have more youth in development.

I’m not dismayed by the veteran backs added…for Fantasy. In fact, I’m more excited to use all these veteran names as cover to get all the Ty’Son shares I can for cheap as the public is SURE Latavius is the guy here. I’m betting on Ty’Son, especially for the falling price. It isn’t expensive even if it winds up wrong/it’s a split. If I’m right, Ty’Son is going to be a shock Fantasy asset of 2021. 


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About R.C. Fischer

R.C. Fischer is a fantasy football player analyst for Fantasy Football Metrics and College Football Metrics. 

Email rc4metrics@gmail.com

Learn more about RC and the Fantasy Football Metrics system >>