Birthday: April 21, 1982
Entering the 2003 season, while most observers considered Carnell “Cadillac” Williams to be a top pro prospect, some questioned whether he was the best running back on his own team. The Auburn backfield included two other thoroughbred-quality backs in Ronnie Brown and Brandon Jacobs. Williams distinguished himself as the best of the bunch by shouldering the bulk of the load (finishing with 74 more carries than Brown and Jacobs combined) and rushing for over 1,300 yards and 17 touchdowns.
Williams is a slasher who explodes through the hole. He runs behind his pads and has excellent balance, so he racks up a lot of yards after contact and finishes his runs well. Williams has an eye for the cutback lanes; when the defense shuts down the intended point of attack on a given running play, Williams is often able to spot a seam a burst through it to daylight. Even though he lacks impressive stopwatch speed, he is capable of bouncing plays outside for big gains.
After breaking his collarbone in 2001 and his leg in 2003, Williams had a healthy junior season. However, his physical running style combined with his lack of great size may lead to more injury problems at the NFL level. He has never had more than 13 catches in any season, but he may become more of a factor in the passing game this year with Auburn’s shift to a West Coast Offense.
Williams would likely have been one of the first backs taken had he entered the draft last year, but could help himself by posting another season like 2003. He has the opportunity to establish himself as one of the elite prospects for the 2004 draft.
(profile written by Warren DeLuca
Carnell Williams’ 2003 Stats G CAR YDS AVG TD 13 241 1,307 5.4 17 Carnell Williams Home
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