The Denver Broncos had a prospect in mind who they wanted to select at the beginning of Day 2, and they didn't wait around to grab him. General manager George Paton traded up with the Atlanta Falcons to acquire the third pick in the second round, and with that selection the Broncos took former North Carolina running back Javonte Williams. According to Ian Rapoport of the NFL Network, the Broncos gave up picks No. 40 and No. 114 for picks No. 35 and No. 219 from the Falcons.
This was a potentially smart move, because the Miami Dolphins at No. 36 overall could have been eyeing a running back. Williams was an All-ACC First Team player for the Tar Heels in 2020, and rushed for 1,140 yards. He also scored 22 total touchdowns, which was a program record. Williams' 7.3 yards per rush ranked sixth among 116 FBS players who recorded over 100 rushes, and he was PFF's highest-graded running back. One of the best qualities a running back can possess is the ability to shake off tacklers, and Williams certainly has that ability. Last year, he had a 25.5 percent broken tackle rate, which was best in the FBS.
The Broncos have Melvin Gordon as running back No. 1, but they did allow Phillip Lindsay to walk in free agency. Williams is a strong back who can absorb contact, will contribute immediately and could even challenge for a starting role in the future.
Pick Six Newsletter
Crafted By The Best NFL Experts
Get the day's big stories + fun stuff you love like mock drafts, picks and power rankings.