The Indianapolis Colts used one of their seventh round selections on Utah State running back Kerwynn Williams, and while there is a long line of backs ahead of him on the depth chart right now, Williams could find other ways to contribute as a rookie in 2013.
Williams needs to work on pass protection before he can earn third-down running back duties, but what he offers that other potential backup running backs on the Colts’ roster don’t is the ability to return kicks and/or punts. Coming out of Utah State, Williams proved that even in his smaller stature, he can pack a huge punch.
The 5’8″ 195 pound jack-of-all-trades ran a blistering 4.44 40 yard dash this offseason, and despite the way the RB position is becoming much less prominent in the NFL today, Williams was worth drafting.
In addition to his speed, Williams actually fared really well on the field replacing 2012 fourth rounder Robert Turbin as the featured tailback at Utah State. He rushed for 1,512 yards, averaging over six yards per carry, and finished up the season with 15 rushing touchdowns. Perhaps even more impressively, the Aggies utilized Williams a heck of a lot in the passing game, and he ended up catching 45 passes for 697 yards and five more touchdowns.
Williams’ versatility attracted the Colts, and I think as far as seventh round picks go, this was a heck of a choice by Indianapolis and a potentially really valuable late-round find.
The speedster holds the WAC record for kick return yardage in a career, and holds 10 different Utah State, WAC, and FBS records. While at Utah State, Williams was used all over the place as a running back, return specialist, and slot receiver.
When he became the featured runner as a senior, Williams stopped returning kicks, but he finished his career as one of the most prolific in the nation. He wound up with over 3,400 yards and a touchdown in his career as a return specialist, and that’s where I think he will make his mark as a member of the Colts.
It’s tough to be a return man in the NFL when more than 70 percent of kickoffs go for touchbacks, but a kick return can still be one of the biggest momentum shifters in the game.
Here’s some game footage from Williams’ senior year at Utah State, a game against UNLV in which he accounted for 260 total yards of offense.