In Lawrence, Kansas, the first pro day of the NFL Draft cycle began as the University of Kansas hosted their pro day. Among the participants was a talented and much-hyped up running back in Pooka Williams. A folk hero of sorts in Louisiana, Williams has been in the spotlight since high school. Williams has been in regular contact with some of Louisiana’s best running backs in recent memory.
“I’ve been talking to those guys since I was in high school,” Williams said when asked if he talked to NFL players Leonard Fournette and Tyron Johnson. “They just told me to keep my head on, I will be special.”
Williams’ versatility, however, was the main draw of the day. NFL teams have asked Williams to play and drill at punt returner, running back, and wide receiver.
“I ran a go ball and a post today at receiver,” Williams said.
In his three years at Kansas, Williams racked up 66 catches for 534 yards and 4 touchdowns. With it, the natural comparisons to Nyheim Hines, Tarik Cohen, and other scat backs have come back, but Williams sees someone else in himself.
“I always admired Reggie Bush,” Williams said. “I always look up to him because I think I play like him.”
Williams harped on his receiving skills as well. When asked what part of his skill set would translate to the next level, Williams exuded confidence in his route running, hands, and the attitude he brings towards the game. That same attitude, built on physicality and grit for a 5-foot-10, 170 pound running back, is something he prides himself on.
“This is a physical game,” Williams said. “I love being physical. I’m not just about to get bullied, don’t matter the size.”
Williams carries that physicality over into pass protection as well.
“Every time I’m on the field, that is my mindset,” Williams said.
Williams reportedly ran somewhere in the ballpark of a 4.42-4.45 40-yard dash on Friday.
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The time would be a solid time for Williams, who is being viewed as a multi-faceted weapon of sorts. More so, he is viewed as a three-down scatback with good speed and explosiveness. Williams projects to a mid-day three pick, somewhere in rounds 5-7 and would best fit in a zone-based running scheme.
Could be an option later on for the Steelers?
It is always possible, but Williams did state that he hasn’t met with the Steelers just yet. Williams has met with the Chiefs and the Saints. He has met with “five-plus” teams. Nine teams were present at Kansas Pro Day on Friday.