CLEVELAND (WNCT) — The first night of the NFL draft was full of drama as college football’s biggest and brightest players took the stage after being chosen by an NFL team.
Friday highlights the second and third round of the draft. Several local stars could see their names called.
Javonte Williams, a former star at Wallace Rose Hill High School who also excelled as a running back at UNC, was chosen in the second round by the Denver Broncos. The 5-foot-10, 220-pounder finished his career at UNC with 2,297 yards and 29 touchdowns in 35 games. He also had 50 catches for 539 yards and four scores.
After trading up to the 35th-overall pick, Denver General Manager George Paton and the Broncos selected Williams. Denver sent their second-round (No. 40) and fourth-round (No. 114) picks to Atlanta in exchange for the 35th pick and a sixth-round pick (No. 218).
“We feel he’s a three-down back. He’s got incredible instincts, incredible contact balance,” General Manager George Paton told DenverBroncos.com’s Phil Milani. “… He was one of our favorite players in the draft.”
Paton told DenverBroncos.com he believed a trade was necessary to acquire the running back.
“He would’ve been gone,” Paton said. “We kind of had a good feel for the top of the round, and he was going to go quick.”
CBS Sports’ Chris Trapasso had this to say about the Broncos picking Williams, “This back brings it on every run, and can slash as well as laterally make defenders miss. Contact balance is high-end. After losing Phillip Lindsay, this is sensible but a tick early for a back. He’s a good one though.”
Former J.H. Rose High School standout Cornell Powell, who played at Clemson, could also see his name called in the third day of the draft. He was not picked in the second or third round on Friday.
Click the above links to keep up with the draft and to track which of these stars and others will be chosen.
Javonte Williams’ UNC bio (from UNC Sports Information)
2020 – Junior Season
Appeared in 11 games and started one game at running back • Named offensive MVP • Maxwell Award Semifinalist • Doak Walker Award Semifinalist • AP All-America Team (Second Team) • PFF ACC Player of the Year • AP All-ACC First Team • All-ACC Second Team • Graded out as the best running back in the country according to Pro Football Focus • Led the nation with 75 avoided tackles, was second with 42 rushes of 10+ yards and was third with 72 rushing first downs • Set single-season program records with 132 points and 22 total touchdowns (fourth most in the country) • Tied Tar Heel legend Don McCauley (1970) with 19 rushing TDs • His 1,140 rushing yards were the 13th most in program history, sixth most in the country and third best in the ACC • Third in the ACC with 103.6 rushing yards and second with 131.4 scrimmage yards per game • Scored three rushing TDs in the season opener against Syracuse and finished with 57 yards on 14 carries • Had a rushing and receiving TD at Boston College • Registered 169 rushing yards and 224 all-purpose yards with two rushing TDs against Virginia Tech • Had 119 rushing yards and a career-high 67 receiving yards and scored two TDs at Florida State • Named to PFF National Team of the Week after rushing for 160 yards and three TDs against NC State • Had 54 rushing yards and one TD at Virginia • Tied a school record with four first-half TDs at Duke • Had 175 all-purpose yards (151 rush, 24 receiving) against the Blue Devils • Registered an eighth-straight game with a rushing TD and had 101 rushing yards against Wake Forest • Set a new career high with 236 rushing yards on 23 carries against No. 9 Miami • Notched three rushing TDs for the fourth time in 2020 against the Hurricanes.