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Saturday, April 22, 2006

DeAngelo Williams Is One Of The Top Draft Backs - See This Video

The Houston Chronicle profiled University of Texas - El Paso running back DeAngelo Williams one week before the NFL Draft. We've also got a video of his best touchdown runs. You can see how he accelerates to the hole, and how well he runs out of the "I" formation.

April 19, 2006, 10:13PM
White says he's Mr. Big
Williams offers a compact option at running back

Copyright 2006 Houston Chronicle

Reggie Bush has dominated the headlines and the pre-draft banter, but he is hardly the only running back expected to be a first-round selection in the NFL draft April 29.

The talk surrounding other backs is much quieter, but Memphis' DeAngelo Williams, USC's LenDale White and Minnesota's Laurence Maroney likely will be selected before the second round begins.

Williams, who donned No. 20 in college, is often compared to another No. 20, Barry Sanders, because of his running style and his 5-9, 214-pound frame. He is a durable back who carried the ball more than 300 times each in 2004 and 2005. During his senior season, he led the nation with 1,964 yards rushing.

White originally was expected to go soon after Bush. But with a torn hamstring leaving White unable to work out, Williams has climbed on many teams' draft boards.

"I'm not one of those guys that's looking back," Williams said. "I'm not looking for LenDale White to pass me or Reggie Bush to pass me. I turned my rearview mirror off a long time ago. I'm chasing."

USC's Bush is expected to be drafted by the Texans with the No. 1 pick. It isn't as clear where the other backs will go. Last year, Ronnie Brown (second), Cedric Benson (fourth) and Cadillac Williams (fifth) were selected among the top five.

That won't be the case again. Teams in need of backs likely will find Maroney, Williams and White available in the bottom half of the first round. Williams is the smallest of the trio; White is a big back, measuring 6-0 3/8 and 245 pounds. Maroney is 5-11 7/8 and 217 pounds.

"That's what helps me a lot in this draft, just because how big I am," White said. "DeAngelo and Reggie are in a class of their own and then you have the in-betweens like Maroney. And I think how big I am and how strong I am helps me out a lot. I'm kind of happy to be in this class because you get a lot more touchdowns when you're big."

White led the nation with 24 touchdowns last season. He also topped 1,000 yards for the second consecutive year.

Maroney, who shared time with Marion Barber in 2003 and 2004, rushed for more than 1,000 yards in each of his three seasons at Minnesota. Some consider him a perfect fit to replace Edgerrin James in Indianapolis because of Maroney's vision and smooth running style. The Colts pick 30th in the first round.

Despite always sharing time with other running backs at Minnesota, Maroney said it will benefit him as a pro.

"Actually it was fun splitting time with a guy like Marion Barber," Maroney said. "We both brought something different to the table, kept defenses on their toes, not knowing what they're going to get. We always had fresh legs in the game, so splitting time was never a problem. We never had any complaints about who had the ball."

With college finished, the prospects have spent the past few months trying to convince NFL management they can be the next breakthrough back.

Last season, Brown and Cadillac Williams had significant impact on their teams as rookies.

Even though White, Maroney and DeAngelo Williams realize they will not be the first back selected on draft day, they want to prove they will be successful.

The first step in that process is finally discovering where they will play.

"That's the thing about it, everybody has poker faces around here," DeAngelo Williams said. "Everybody's playing with a World Series of Poker face.

"They all smile the same; they all ask you the same questions."

The Video:


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