UNC RB Javonte Williams Draft Stock Rising Quickly

Javonte Williams' NFL Draft stock is rising quickly.
Javonte Williams' NFL Draft stock is rising quickly. / Don Juan Moore/Getty Images

As teams become increasingly analytics-driven, we're seeing fewer running backs drafted in the first round of the NFL Draft.

Even with studs like Jonathan Taylor and J.K. Dobbins available last year, only one RB went in Round 1, and that was with the last pick of the round.

This year, however, Alabama's Najee Harris and Clemson's Travis Etienne are already getting first-round buzz. And now one more running back is joining that conversation.

UNC's Javonte Williams is seeing his draft stock skyrocket as Thursday night approaches.

Javonte Williams Draft Stock

NFL Network's Ian Rapoport revealed on Tuesday that Williams is right up there with Harris and Etienne in the top tier of running backs in this year's class, and "the order varies," suggesting that some teams have Williams valued ahead of Etienne and/or Harris.

Harris has been commonly mocked to the Pittsburgh Steelers at No. 24, but if he's already off the board at that point, Rapoport mentions the Steelers could be ready to pull the trigger on Williams with the pick.

And he's not the only one projecting Williams as a possible sleeper first-round pick.

It's not hard to see why people are so high on Williams either. He shared the UNC backfield with Michael Carter, but Williams was clearly the more talented of the two.

He averaged 6.3 yards per carry to go with 10.8 yards per reception over three seasons with the Tar Heels, really breaking out as a junior in 2020. His final collegiate season saw him average a staggering 7.3 yards per carry (1,140 yards on 157 rushes) while scoring 19 touchdowns on the ground. He added 25 receptions for 305 yards (12.2 per reception) and 3 TDs as a receiver.

FanDuel Sportsbook's NFL Draft odds have Williams at +650 to be the first RB off the board.

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Jason Schandl is not a FanDuel employee. In addition to providing DFS gameplay advice, Jason Schandl also participates in DFS contests on FanDuel using his personal account, username Jaymun. While the strategies and player selections recommended in his articles are his personal views, he may deploy different strategies and player selections when entering contests with his personal account. The views expressed in his articles are the author's alone and do not necessarily reflect the views of FanDuel.

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