Jamaal Williams may not be a household name just yet, but Green Bay Packers’ fans know exactly who he is. After being drafted with the No. 134 overall pick in the 2017 NFL Draft, Williams got a much bigger chance to play than he expected last season. Ty Montgomery went down with injury, which opened up the opportunity.
Green Bay had been looking to find some help in the backfield behind Aaron Rodgers. For years, the Packers relied solely on Rodgers to power the offense. Unfortunately for Green Bay, Rodgers went down with a broken collarbone and missed the majority of the season himself.
While the Packers didn’t have Rodgers, the running game did improve in 2017. Williams was a big part of that improvement and will likely be given the chance to have an impact once again in 2018.
2017 Season Review
Looking back at the 2017 NFL season, Williams didn’t receive any serious playing time until November 12. He finally got the chance for a consistent role from that point forward and never looked back.
Williams ended up carrying the football 153 times for 556 yards and four touchdowns on the season. He showed strength and speed and was able to take care of the football. Green Bay had to have been excited that their rookie running back didn’t fumble the football once.
If the Packers had Rodgers healthy the whole season, they had a chance to compete. Green Bay looked very good early on in the year before Rodgers’ injury. Adding a solid running game behind Rodgers certainly projects favorably for the Packers.
2018 Season Outlook
As far as what kind of role Williams can expect in 2018, there are still some questions. Mike McCarthy and the Packers’ coaching staff has talked about going with a running back by committee strategy, as reported by Packers Wire. That would mean that Williams, Aaron Jones, and Ty Montgomery are all going to be given carries.
Williams is likely the best bet to be the starting running back to begin the 2018 season. Montgomery will have a chance to beat him out for the job, but Williams seems to have won over quite a few people in Green Bay.
It’s hard to project the numbers that Williams will put up this season with so many running backs expected to get touches. That being said, it would be reasonable to expect around 150 carries for 550 yards and five touchdowns. A similar season to last year would make the Packers happy.
Training Camp Projection
A major battle is brewing that will be waged during training camp and preseason action. Williams will be competing for playing time and the starting job. While there are other talented running backs on the Packers’ roster, Williams showed a lot of promise last season and the coaching staff should end up giving him the opportunity to lead the season off as the starter behind Rodgers.