While searching for oil in the North African desert of Lybia in 1959, a British Petroleum survey crew stumbled upon the wreckage of a B-24 bomber. Upon further investigation, the wreckage was identified as the remains of "Lady Be Good", a WWII plane that failed to reach its airbase following a mission in Italy.
Over the course of the past seven plus months, I've been combing the college ranks for the riches scattered across the college landscape in hopes of finding prospects who will make the Carolina Panthers a better team. As you may have noticed, certain positions, like receiver, cornerback and offensive tackle have made the most appearances. This, of course, was by design because they represent the specific areas where the Panthers need to improve the most if they are to realize sustained success.
But what about the positions where there is seemingly little need? Could it be that a valuable piece of the past and present is just waiting to be discovered in the midst of this loaded draft? Even in an NFL age when quarterbacks and receivers are the preeminent treasures, the running back position is still a valuable commodity. Maybe we here at CSR have fallen into the trap of undervaluing their worth based on how much the previous general manager overvalued the position and subsequently overpaid the under-performing ghosts of double trouble.
Now is as good a time as any to begin swinging the pendulum in the other direction. After all, Deangelo Williams will most likely be a cap casualty next off-season and expecting anything out of the oft-injured Jonathan Stewart feels like fools gold at this point. With that being said, let's take a peek at the first and only tailback to make the final cut during this inaugural season of Tuesday Afternoon Prospect. Meet Boston College's own Andre Williams.
-Great size at 5-foot-11, 230-pounds
-Old school back who uses power and strength to bulldoze over would-be tacklers
-Runs with bad intentions
-Solid blocker in pass protection
-North/South runner who hits the hole hard
-Thick legs always churning forward
-Lacks elite acceleration and true breakaway speed
-Limited lateral quickness
-Occasional ball security issues
-Competed against the dubious level defenses of the ACC
Simply put, Williams is a bruiser in the mold of Legarrett Blount. The Pennsylvania native and 2013 Heisman Trophy finalist loves to be physical and thrives on churning out those extra yards after first contact. During his career at Boston College, it wasn't uncommon to see him stiff arm his way around and through defenders. It also wasn't unusual to seem him run over an unsuspecting victim.
Pass protection is one of those vital components that initially keeps most running backs from seeing a great deal of early rookie season action, but this isn't the case with Williams. He has the size, strength and tape to prove that he can withstand the blows of blitzing defensive backs and linebackers.
As of yet, there haven't been any leaked reports of the Panthers showing definitive interest in Williams, but it was confirmed that they were in attendance at the pro days of two similarly sized tailbacks(Terrance West and Isaiah Crowell). If the Panthers elect to pass on a running back in the early/mid rounds, don't be surprised if they use a late rounder on the maligned(at one time), but extremely talented Crowell. However, I wouldn't rule out the possibility of a 4th rounder being used to select either West or Williams, provided one or both are still available.
What about you CSR? Do you think RB Andre Williams would be a good selection for the Panthers in the 4th round? Be sure to check out my latest mock draft at the bottom of the page.
Andre Williams Career Stats
Carolina Panthers Mock Draft 14.0
|1||WR Marqise Lee||6' 0"||192||USC|
|2||OT Cameron Fleming||6' 5"||323||Stanford|
|3||Pierre Desir||6' 1"||198||Lindenwood|
|4||RB Andre Williams||5' 11"||230||Boston College|
|5||SS Amhad Dixon||6' 0"||212||Baylor|
|6||DE Zach Moore||6' 5"||269||Concordia-St Paul|
|7||WR Jeff Janis||6' 3"||219||Saginaw Valley St|