Broncos’ Javonte Williams Already Among Elite RBs in Important Stat

Getty The Denver Broncos may have found a blueprint to success going forward, as rookie running back Javonte Williams is shouldering more of the load.

The Denver Broncos posted their biggest victory of the 2021 campaign, when they dominated the Dallas Cowboys, November 7, at AT&T Stadium.

The overwhelming win not only gave head coach Vic Fangio his greatest signature win of his three-season stewardship in Denver, but it also shined a light on several first-year players who are set to be cornerstones in the revival of the once-proud franchise.

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Leading the way was a rookie running back who has made a habit of decimating and demoralizing Dallas defenders en route to gaining the tough yards.

Trade Worth Making

It would be easy to call first-year running back Javonte Williams a revelation for the Broncos (5-4), but the team’s brass knew exactly what they were getting when they selected the former UNC star in the second round of the 2021 NFL draft.

General manager George Paton, who is also in his first season with the Broncos, after serving as the right-hand man for current Minnesota Vikings general manager Rick Spielman for 14 seasons, saw something special in Williams and had to have his man.

Paton traded up five picks to the 35th overall selection for Williams, by swapping Denver’s 40th overall pick with the Atlanta Falcons, and parting with a 2021 sixth-round pick.

The Falcons also procured a 2021 fourth rounder, but it was a shrewd move by the neophyte general manager.

Williams has yet to disappoint and has shown so much potential and production, despite being in a timeshare with veteran Melvin Gordon III.


Keep Feeding him

Williams’s play has been so entertaining to watch, that it’s not only opponents who have taken notice, but also national publications.

Cecil Lammey, of DenverFan.com, has been pleading with the Broncos to add more to the rookie’s plate. Lammey subtweeted a PFF Fantasy Football tweet that displayed a staggering statistic that truly shows Williams’s impact.

That number is not just best among rookie running backs, but it’s the best in the entire league — and that’s with Williams not even being the Broncos’ bell-cow, yet.


Coming out Party

When the Broncos ran all over the Cowboys, it might’ve signaled the start of something special. Denver’s offensive coordinator Pat Shurmur finally unleashed his preferred rushing scheme, and did so with an injury-riddled and makeshift offensive line, making the feat more impressive.

Williams tallied his first-career 100-yard rushing game, as he stampeded the Cowboys for a game-high 111 yards. He did so on four fewer carries than Gordon III (80 rushing yards), and doubled the output by Dallas’ Pro Bowl running back, Ezekiel Elliot, who could only muster 51 yards.

The Broncos dominated the Cowboys in time of possession (41:12 to 18:48) and were 7-of-11 in converting first downs on runs with three or fewer yards to go. It was a template that perhaps Denver can use more going forward, as they try to get back into at least Wild Card contention. The Broncos are currently in a Wild Card logjam in the AFC, but are also only a half-game out of first place in the AFC West. Should they continue this rate of rushing over the remaining eight games, they’ll be difficult to keep out of the postseason.


Not the Only Rookie Shining

Williams may be pushing himself into the NFL’s 2021 Rookie of the Year debate, but he isn’t the only first-year player in Denver who is making a name for himself — not named Patrick Surtain II. Sure, most football fans are well aware of Surtain II, a rookie cornerback who was selected with the No. 9 overall pick, but when it comes to other 2021 rookies in Denver who didn’t come in with as much fanfare, there’s a handful of Broncos who are starting to get on the radar.

Broncos rookie linebacker Jonathon Cooper is one of those unsung rookies who might’ve also used the Cowboys game as a springboard to greater things. Cooper recorded his first NFL sack in Dallas, taking down the Cowboys’ Pro Bowl quarterback Dak Prescott in the second quarter.

The play forced Dallas to a third-and-21, and they punted soon after, as the Broncos were holding a 16-0 lead at the time, en route to a 30-0 lead, before the Cowboys could even muster a score, late into the fourth quarter.

Brett Kollmann, an NFL analyst and host of “The Film Room” on YouTube, tweeted just how impressive Cooper has been in a relative minimal amount of plays.

That’s impressive company the former Ohio State University star is keeping. Cooper could be among the short list of Broncos who could help fill the void left by the Von Miller trade.

Follow Tony Williams on Twitter: @TBone8


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