With their fourth round pick in the 2014 NFL Draft, the New York Giants continued to add weapons to their offense, selecting Andre Williams from Boston College. The Heisman Trophy finalist from this past season led the NCAA with 2,177 yards on 355 carries. He fits the bill the Giants look for in prospects, as a player who performed at a high level statistically in college. He also fills the need on the depth chart at running back, and will bring an added dimension to the offense.
Williams is a big, downhill running back, something the Giants are lacking on the roster right now. With Andre Brown leaving this offseason, the Giants had a gaping hole at running back in terms of a player to get them the tough yards; they now have that in Williams.
Williams is a guy that they can use to soften up the middle of the defense, as his bruising style will wear defenses down as games go on. His ability to run between the tackles will enable the Giants to use their other running backs, Rashad Jennings and David Wilson, more in space, allowing them to put their athleticism to use.
Williams showed throughout college that he can handle a lot of responsibility, something that is a necessity for players the Giants bring aboard. He constantly faced eight, nine and even 10 man stacked boxes at Boston College, yet still put up productive numbers. He is intelligent, and showed strong work ethic and weight room habits, something that is endearing to Head Coach Tom Coughlin, who holds his players accountable.
Where he will not help the Giants much is in the passing game. He had only 10 receptions in his Golden Eagle career, and struggled with pass protection. Considering how the Giants’ running backs struggled with this last season, he will have to prove he is ready to protect Eli Manning before Coughlin and the coaching staff will trust him out there.
At the same time, that may also make Williams’ rookie season an easier transition. He will be able to focus on what he does best; take handoffs and run the ball down the throat of the opposing team’s defense. He is a smart player, so he should improve in the pass protection and route running that he struggled with so much in college.
If the Giants give him some early down and short-yardage work, Williams should produce and they will be very pleased with the results. He landed in a great situation with the Giants, as he can grow as a player while still producing and helping out the team. With the lack of other short-yardage options on the roster and a fair shot to be given those chances, Williams will lead the Giants in rushing touchdowns this season.