Kansas football has one player who might hear their name called in the 2021 NFL Draft and it’s running back Pooka Williams, who projects as a late pick on Day 3.
It’s not surprising that a team that failed to win a game in the 2020 season wouldn’t have many draftable players. The Kansas Jayhawks have grown accustomed to this scenario, as the football program has struggled immensely over the last decade. As a result, they haven’t been swimming with draft talent during this tough stretch.
For the 2021 NFL Draft, only one member of Kansas football could hear his name called and even that’s not guaranteed. Pooka Williams was a monster for the Jayhawks in his first two years with the program.
He rushed for 1,125 yards and seven touchdowns while grabbing another 289 receiving yards and two touchdowns as a freshman. He followed that up by rushing for 1,061 yards and three touchdowns while hauling in 214 yards and two touchdowns through the air. Williams was easily the star of the Jayhawks’ offense during the 2018 and 2019 seasons.
After just four games in 2020, however, Williams decided to opt-out of the rest of the season. He rushed for 196 yards and two touchdowns while grabbing six catches for 31 yards during those four games.
If anyone from Kansas football is selected in the 2021 NFL Draft, it’ll be Pooka Williams.
Williams won’t hear his name called before Day 3 of the draft. NFL.com doesn’t think he’ll get drafted but has him listed as a priority free agent once the draft concludes. This is certainly a possibility, but as the draft goes on, teams become more open to drafting running backs and Williams is talented enough to get drafted.
The Draft Network has Williams’ ideal role as a No. 3 running back in a committee. They had a lot of positive things to say about him too, mentioning that he’s a patient runner and has a rare “side-step quickness”. They also said he “fights for every blade of grass”. Anyone who watched Williams when he was with KU knows all of these things to be true. The kid was a freak of nature and was the only bright spot for the offense.
It’d be great to see Williams land with a team where he could actually see the field and make a difference. I second The Draft Network’s notion of him being a nice option to use as a No. 3 running back because he’s capable of breaking off big runs here and there but just isn’t a No. 1 or even No. 2 option in most NFL offenses due to his size.
Best of luck to Pooka Williams this weekend as he hopes to take his career to the professional level.