Green Bay Packers 2018 roster review: Jamaal Williams

DETROIT, MI - DECEMBER 29: Jamaal Williams
DETROIT, MI - DECEMBER 29: Jamaal Williams /

Reviewing Jamaal Williams’ rookie season with the Green Bay Packers.

The Green Bay Packers took a gamble at running back last offseason, replacing a trio of experienced backs with rookies. Jamaal Williams was one of them, and he helped ensure the Packers made the right call.

What did we learn about Williams in his rookie season?

Let’s first look back at the year gone, before looking ahead to 2018.

Season in review

It took a while for Williams to get going, but once he did there was no looking back.

The Packers’ first eight games came and went, and Williams had just 11 carries to his name for 34 yards. The backfield belonged to fellow rookie Aaron Jones, whose opportunity came at Williams’ expense due to injury.

But when Jones and Ty Montgomery got hurt, Williams was given his chance to take on a heavy workload. And he delivered.

Williams showed he could be a workhorse back in the absence of Aaron Rodgers and the typically pass-first Packers offense.

The rookie led the Packers in rushing with 556 yards and four touchdowns in effectively half a season.

Williams only had more than four carries in eight games. In that time he posted 522 yards and three touchdowns. At that pace, he’d have 1,044 yards and six touchdowns over 16 games, which would have be good for eighth in the NFL for rushing yards in 2017.

It was a good debut season for Williams, who looks to have a bright future in Green Bay.

Looking ahead to 2018 season

While Ty Montgomery will still have a role in the backfield next year, the bulk of the workload will likely go to Williams and Jones. The pair offer different skill sets that complement each other well.

Williams is a power runner, suited to short-yardage situations. Jones is a big-play threat who adds energy, burst and good vision. It remains unclear exactly how the carries will be distributed, and that will depend on a number of factors over the summer.

But there’s no doubting Williams will have an important role to play in the Packers’ offense next season.

Next: Packers: 12 players that need to go this offseason

Head coach Mike McCarthy and returning offensive coordinator Joe Philbin can be excited about both of their second-year backs.