Jamaal Williams needs to work on pass protection
Despite all of the positive attributes to Williams game, there is one glaring weakness that he really needs to improve upon going into the NFL.
He’s a very inconsistent pass protector, which could be an issue if he wants to see the field with Aaron Rodgers.
Williams tends to do a poor job setting his feet when taking on a blitz. Notice on this play against West Virginia how Williams is a step too slow in recognizing the linebacker.
Because Williams is late to pickup the blitz he is forced to lunge at the defender instead of shuffling his feet to get his body in front of the blitzer and impede his progress.
It’s poor technique and something the Packers coaches won’t tolerate.
Here’s another example from the film where Williams demonstrates poor technique. He completely whiffs when trying to go low and take out the defender’s legs.
Again, Williams shows poor technique and completely takes himself out of the play. He would have been better off holding his ground and at least slowing the defender’s progress by standing in the way.
Williams could also show more assertiveness in his blitz pickup. At times he’s too hesitant or pulls up too early and could be more consistent with his effort.
Take this redzone play against Arizona, for example. He does a decent job chipping the defensive end, but then he gives up too early in his effort to pick up the blitzing linebacker.
The pass flutters incomplete because the quarterback was hit by the blitzing linebacker. If Williams showed a little more initiative to get out on the edge and get in front of the linebacker, his quarterback could have had another second to set his feet and make the throw.
Now, Williams does have a handful of plays on film where he did a good job picking up the blitz.
In the very same Utah game Williams whiffs on a blitz pickup, he also has this following play where he gets in front of the blitzer and takes him out at the legs.
It’s plays like this that should give the Packers some hope that Williams can shore up his pass protection and be more consistent picking up the blitz.
He’ll need to work on this area of his game if he ever wants to be a complete back in the NFL. Williams has many of the other traits teams desire in a halfback.
He’s tough, instinctive, and explosive. He could develop into a reliable starter someday at the next level.
In the very least, he’ll provide an effective one-two punch with Ty Montgomery in the Packers backfield.
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*All player film courtesy of DraftBreakdown.com.