What a Kerwynn Williams workout means for the Kansas City Chiefs

SEATTLE, WA - DECEMBER 31: Running back Kerwynn Williams
SEATTLE, WA - DECEMBER 31: Running back Kerwynn Williams /

The Kansas City Chiefs are continuing to work on their running back depth on the roster with a visit from former Arizona Cardinals RB Kerwynn Williams.

The latest free agent visit to Arrowhead Stadium is not a cornerback. It’s also not a safety, linebacker or even a lineman for either side of the offense. In fact, it’s a player that might belong to the single most stacked section of the roster already: the running backs.

Kerwynn Williams, formerly of the Arizona Cardinals, is the latest player to work out for the Chiefs, per Ian Rapoport.

The story

Williams entered the NFL as a 7th round pick with the Indianapolis Colts and took a couple different teams to find his role. He spent time on the practice squads of both the Colts and San Diego Chargers for the next year before finding a permanent-ish spot with the Cardinals for the last three years, although even that has been on and off again, being released and then re-signed when injuries arose to players like Chris Johnson during that stretch.

The stats

Last year, Williams played in all 16 games for the Cardinals and even started 6, putting up career highs in carries (120), rushing yards (426), receptions (10) and receiving yards (93).

Williams broke out during his senior year at Utah State in 2012 with a mammoth effort where he averaged 6.9 yards/carry on 218 carries, good for 1,512 yards and 15 rushing touchdowns.

The fit

What’s most important about Williams isn’t so much about his rushing ability, inasmuch as Akeem Hunt’s rushing ability was important. Instead, this is about competition for the returner role on the Chiefs roster, and when you have 90 players available to control, you begin to even add a couple guys to compete for this spot as well.

At this point, the running back stable would look like this:

RB1: Kareem Hunt
RB2: Spencer Ware
RB3: Charcandrick West or Damien Williams
RB4/Returner: Akeem Hunt or Kerwynn Williams (if signed)

Williams had 21 punt returns and 16 kick returns for the Cardinals last season, although he never had a single return that went for longer than 28 total yards. Veach might be bringing him in to see whether or not Williams was a victim of poor special teams play.

The verdict

Williams might file under running back, but this is really all about special teams and return options for the Chiefs, which we also need to include De’Anthony Thomas in this mix as well. The Chiefs are leaving no stone unturned while they can shop around these veteran options before the draft.

If we end up seeing West and (Akeem) Hunt once again in 2018, it will be because they earned the role by besting the competition in front of them.