Now that free agency and the draft are behind us, it’s time to take a closer look at the Falcons roster heading in to the summer. Next up in our player profile series is RB Damien Williams, a versatile back who can play on all three downs.
Now that free agency and the 2022 NFL Draft draft are (mostly) behind us, it’s time to take a closer look at the Atlanta Falcons’ roster heading in to the summer. Outside of a few additions and subtractions here and there in the course of training camp and the preseason, this is the roster Atlanta will be working with during the 2022 season.
We’ll kick things off with a look at the projected starters and players competing for those spots. Next up is running back. The top player returns in Cordarrelle Patterson, but the rest of the depth chart has been shaken up this offseason.
Next up is veteran Damien Williams.
RB Damien Williams
Contract: $1.62M cap hit in 2022, free agent in 2023
Career Production: 97 games played, 15 games started | 334 carries for 1,395 yards (4.2 YPC), 14 TD | 154 receptions for 1,209 yards (7.9 YPR), 11 TD
2021 Production: 12 games played, 2 games started | 40 carries for 164 yards (4.1 YPC), 2 TD | 16 receptions for 103 yards (6.4 YPR), 1 TD | 71.4 overall PFF grade
The Falcons need to get more out of their running game in 2022. Atlanta re-signed Cordarrelle Patterson—who outperformed his contract last year—and released Mike Davis, who was a fine pass-catcher but underwhelmed as a runner. To fill the void left by Davis, who occupied an important role as the team’s primary pass-blocker, Atlanta brought in veteran Damien Williams. An experienced former UDFA, Williams made Miami’s roster in 2014 and never looked back.
He spent his entire rookie contract with the Dolphins before signing with the Chiefs in 2018. Williams had a respectable season as a reserve, putting up 4 TDs and 256 yards on just 50 carries (5.1 YPC). He turned in his best season to date in 2019, filling in as the starter for six games and posting 498 yards and 5 TD on 111 carries (4.5 YPC). Williams has also been a consistently reliable receiver, with 154 receptions for 1209 yards (7.9 YPR) and 11 TD in his career. He opted out of the 2020 season due to COVID before joining the Bears in 2021.
Williams fits the mold of an Arthur Smith back at 5’11, 222 and provides a quality athletic profile. He’s not the most elusive back, but he’s got good long speed and explosiveness to go along with his physicality and contact balance. Williams is also an accomplished pass blocker, and figures to be a primary contributor on third downs.
Projection: Damien Williams projects as the backup to Cordarrelle Patterson on passing downs, as well as the primary pass-protector. He’s also a capable rusher and should be able to contribute on all three downs, if needed. Williams should be a weekly fixture as part of Atlanta’s three-man RB committee.