Chicago Bears: Underrated running backs in 2019 NFL Draft

Chicago Bears (Photo by Gene Sweeney Jr/Getty Images)
Chicago Bears (Photo by Gene Sweeney Jr/Getty Images) /
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Chicago Bears, James Williams
Chicago Bears (Photo by William Mancebo/Getty Images) /

James Williams, Washington State

You want a deep sleeper? Here’s a deep sleeper, and a guy I could see Ryan Pace gushing over in his post-draft press conference. James Williams never ran for more than 585 yards in his three years at Washington State, but he was never asked to be a work horse. In fact, he still averaged nearly five yards per carry over those three seasons.

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But, what Williams did extremely well was catch the football.

Get this: Williams totaled 202 receptions in 39 games at Washington State. That’s over five catches per game. In 2017, he caught 71 passes. Last year, he amassed that number by 12 — yes, 83 receptions as a running back in college.

If I’m Nagy, this is a kid I’d want to take a flier on late in the draft, assuming he’s there. He fits the Bears’ offense so well, simply because of his threat as a pass-catcher.

Williams reminds me a lot of Cohen. He’s not as fast, but he’s fast enough. Williams is feisty when it comes to blitz pickup, and he plays bigger than his 5-foot-9 frame says he should. The Bears would get themselves another offensive weapon who Nagy could use in a variety of ways, and they would get him very late in the draft.