Pooka Williams 2021 NFL Draft Scouting Report

Name: Pooka Williams

Position: Running Back

College: Kansas

Height: 5’9 ½”

Weight: 175 lbs

Overall Rank: No. 296 overall

Position Rank: RB23

Strengths: A Louisiana prep-standout, Williams has been a bright spot on the field in a bad Kansas program. From a pure speed perspective, he’s one of the fastest backs in the class, clocking in from the mid-to-high 4.3s in the 40-yard dash at the Kansas Pro Day. Of course, straight line workout speed is nice, but Williams also shows impressive play speed and immediate burst as a runner. He wastes no time putting the pedal to the metal and can hit top gear before linebackers blink. Williams has a bulldog’s attitude and isn’t afraid of contact as a runner. Get Williams working laterally pre- and post-snap and he’s simply tough to catch up with. He’ll make his money in the NFL on jet motions, the screen game, and homerun potential as a returner. Teams in need of a do-a-little-bit-of-everything player will be enticed by Williams’ playmaking ability from a variety of roles. 

Weaknesses: Simply put, Williams doesn’t meet the NFL threshold of size for most teams. He measured in at the Kansas Pro Day at 5’9 ½” and 175 pounds, with that weight a concern. It’s not that Williams can’t ball, but NFL teams won’t consider him more than a gadget player. On tape, Williams lacks patience as a runner and looks to be in too much of a hurry sometimes. As a result, he’ll run himself into traffic without clear pacing and nuance to his carries. In the box, he’ll struggle to drive for extra yards and, unless he’s at top speed, the run power doesn’t flash in tight spaces. Williams will also have to answer questions about a domestic violence charge that ultimately ended with the KU player agreeing to a diversion program, including community service and anger management. Regardless of the player’s rehabilitation efforts, many teams will simply take him off of their board completely.

What I Love: Williams is one of the fastest backs in the class and hits top-gear in a hurry. If every carry was simply a straight-line race, Williams would be a much more intriguing prospect.

NFL Comparison: Darwin Thompson

Grade: 55/100

Position Specific Traits:
(key: +, ++, +++ positive scale | -, - -, - - - negative scale)

Agility: ++
Ball Security: +
Blocking: - -
Contact Balance: -
Hands: ++
Power: - -
Speed: ++