Dexter Williams: Notre Dame Running Back Seems Destined for Day 3 of NFL Draft

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No matter what you think of Notre Dame running back Dexter Williams as a NFL Draft prospect, you have to admit he has a very strong work ethic.

At Notre Dame Pro Day on Wednesday, you could hear it in his loud grunting during the drills, and you could feel it in the way his grunts echoed throughout the Loftus Sports Complex. In front of 48 total NFL personnel, representing all 32 teams Williams put in a monumental effort.

When asked what’s next for him in the draft process, he responded by describing all the work he’s put in, is putting in and will put in.

notre dame pro day

“Grind, focus on what I need to do,” he answered, a lot of conditioning, weightlifting.”

From the Senior Bowl to the Scouting Combine to Pro Day, he’s had a hectic pre-draft process. He’ll stay in South Bend for a couple more weeks, then head to Florida.

Unfortunately, all that hard work didn’t really result in much improvement in his general standing on the draft boards. He ran a 4.57-second 40-yard dash at the combine in Indianapolis, and then a 4.59 on his home turf.

That’s an exceptional mark for a full back or a line backer, but not optimal for a tailback, and as you obviously know, tailback is a position where the 40 really carries a lot of weight.

His saving grace could be the fact that he plays faster than he tests, or just looks faster on film than he does on the measurables sheet. 

nptre dame pro day

Another question mark for Dexter Williams is pass-catching, as he dropped a few passes at the Senior Bowl and had some struggles in this facet at Pro Day.

In nine games of action this past season, he 16 passes for 133 yards and one touchdown; not exactly numbers that jump off the page.

Still Williams believes he had a good Pro Day, and that he conveyed to NFL teams both his pass-catching potential and ability to run faster than 4.5.

Overall, he believes Wednesday turned out well.

notre dame

“A lot more energy, felt more comfortable being at home being in my type of  environment,” Williams answered when asked to describe how the day turned out.

“Great vibes everywhere, the energy was good, felt like myself again, felt like I was preparing for game day.”

Asked what kind of person any NFL team that drafts him will be getting he responded: “the same person they see here at Notre Dame- energetic, loving, caring, who cares for his teammates.”

The official NFL website grades him out as 5.78, with a chance to become a NFL starter. Their player comparison is former Illini and Pittsburgh Steeler Rashard Mendenhall.

notre dame pro day     

Overall, it just doesn’t seem probable he breaks into the first three rounds, as he hasn’t been able to effectively answer the question marks that surround him. In today’s NFL, running backs only go really high in the draft if they are a special, rarified air kind of prospect, like a Leonard Fournette type.

Since he isn’t up in that stratosphere, expect Dexter Williams to go in the round four through six range on the Saturday portion of the draft.

Go here for the Notre Dame Pro Day numbers, plus the combine results of the ND players who were in Indianapolis. For his combine results, go to his NFL.com prospect page at this link.

The official NFL page gives him an overall rating of 5.67, projecting him to be in the “chance to become a starter in the NFL” category.

notre dame pro day

For the Dexter Williams prospect profile on The Draft Network, go here

Notre Dame Pro Day Stories/Prospect Profiles

Miles Boykin    Julian Love   Jerry Tillery    Dexter Williams

Paul M. Banks runs The Sports Bank.net, which is partnered with News Now. Banks, a former writer for NBC Chicago.com and Chicago Tribune.com, regularly appears as a guest pundit on WGN CLTV and co-hosts the “Let’s Get Weird, Sports” podcast on SB Nation

He also contributes sociopolitical essays to Chicago NowFollow him on Twitter and Instagram. The content of his cat’s Instagram account is unquestionably superior to his.

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