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2022 NFL Draft: Los Angeles Rams Select Kyren Williams in Fifth Round

St. Louis, Mo product is selected by the team he grew up rooting for

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The Los Angeles Rams have selected Notre Dame running back Kyren Williams in the fifth round of the 2022 NFL Draft.

Williams’ rookie year contract is worth $3,969,048 with a $309,048 signing bonus, according to Sportrac. The 5-foot-9, 194 pound product from St. Louis, Mo. joins a running back room that includes Cam Akers, Darrell Henderson, Jake Funk and Xavier Jones. The Rams also employ former Notre Dame WR Ben Skowronek. rated Williams as a 6.0 prospect, which translates to “traits or talent to be above-average backup” At the NFL Combine, Williams had a 4.65 second 40-yard dash, a 32 inch vertical jump and a 116 inch broad jump.

Williams rushed 419 times for 2,153 yards and 27 touchdowns in three seasons in the field in South Bend. He also added 675 reception yards and caught four touchdowns. Williams was used last season on special teams as well, racking up 151 punt return yards and 64 kick return yards in his Irish career.

Williams shined when the lights were the brightest, finding the end zone three times in a 2020 upset of No. 1 Clemson. He also rushed for a career high 199 yards versus North Carolina last year.

Here’s what The Athletic’s Dane Brugler said of Williams, who he had slotted as a fourth or fifth round selection earlier this month: “Williams earned the starting role the past two seasons in offensive coordinator Tommy Rees’ zone-based scheme. He was a slot receiver before he was a running back in high school and proved himself as an all-purpose weapon for the Irish (was the only FBS player in 2021 to surpass 1,000 yards rushing, 350 yards receiving and 100 yards as a return man). Williams is highly effective on counters and cutbacks with the plant-and-go quickness to make strong cuts in any direction. He has limited inside power, but is a problem-solving runner thanks to his sharp footwork and blend of patience and decisiveness. Overall, Williams is an average athlete and ideally projects as more of a complimentary back in the NFL, but he is an elite competition with the darting quickness and pass-catching skills to be a third-down weapon. He shows some similarities to New England Patriots RB James White.”