A new ranking from Maurice Jones-Drew has listed Kansas City Chiefs running back Damien Williams as a top-20 back in the NFL.
When the Kansas City Chiefs turned the corner from Kareem Hunt to Damien Williams last December as their lead running back, the amount of statistical production largely remained on point from the sophomore sensation to the former Dolphins back. For Williams, it was a sensational ascent to the top of the depth chart and he made the most of the opportunity with the league’s most dynamic offense.
Coming into his second season with the team. the Chiefs aren’t even interested in having a competition for the starting spot. Williams has been gifted the starting role by Chiefs coaches, a starter already christened as such by Andy Reid in media sessions. The only questions remaining concern positional depth behind Williams, as Carlos Hyde, Darrel Williams, Marcus Marshall, and Darwin Thompson compete for reps throughout training camp.
Williams had never once averaged 4.0 yards/carry in four seasons with the Dolphins, but down the stretch with the Chiefs, he excelled in Reid’s offense. He even averaged 134 yards from scrimmage and 2 touchdowns in the postseason. The Chiefs rewarded Williams with not only a starting spot but a new two-year extension to keep him with the team.
Recently, former NFL running back Maurice Jones-Drew made his list of the NFL’s best running backs and he listed Williams at No. 20 overall. He makes the list over heralded rookie Joshua Jacobs and productive backs like LeSean McCoy, David Johnson, Phillip Lindsay, and Mark Ingram. He writes:l
"After proving to be an asset, Williams signed a two-year extension late in the year. I’m interested to see how Williams handles the pressure of being a starting back for an entire regular season. Luckily for him, Patrick Mahomes’ arm attracts most of the attention from opposing defenses."
Just how exactly should the Chiefs view Williams compared to the rest of the NFL’s running backs. For years, he was buried on the Dolphins depth chart and couldn’t make his presence felt despite having bchances even after the Fins traded Jay Ajayi to the Philadelphia Eagles. He also broke camp with the Chiefs at No. 3 overall and only earned a chance in December due to the forced release of Hunt.
That said, Williams was clearly a trusted force down the stretch, and the Chiefs have already given him the torch to carry at the position. Is he really already bettert han o It will be interested how he efficient he remains in 2019 or whether the competition eventually eats into the team’s confidence in Williams.