BC’s Andre Williams would welcome chance to join Patriots
|02.22.14 at 9:24 am ET|
INDIANAPOLIS — The Patriots aren’t likely to be in the market for a running back this year, and if they are, it’s unlikely they’d go after someone in the first two days of the draft.
With a stable of backs like Stevan Ridley, Shane Vereen and Brandon Bolden — and that doesn’t begin to take into account whether or not free agent LeGarrette Blount would return — the one offensive skill position area you’d think New England would feel pretty good about in 2014.
But that doesn’t necessarily stop Boston College running back Andre Williams from speculating about what it might be like to stay in the New England area. Williams, who led the nation in rushing with 2,177 yards and was a Heisman finalist, sounds like he’d welcome a chance to stick around the area for as long as he could.
If Blount walks in free agency — and Williams drops in the draft — chances are he might get his wish.
“It would be a blessing to end up on the Patriots squad,” said the 5-foot-11, 230-pounder Friday at the combine. “They’re a winning franchise. They have a great coach. He seems like a really levelheaded cool guy to deal with. It would be great to go back to the Northeast. That’s where my family is situated right now. It would be a great fit.”
Williams, who is current projected as a second-day pick who could end up dropping to the third day of the draft depending on how things shake out, made his bones in a run-first offense at Boston College, one that was tailored to fit his strengths. Even though he was one of the best backs in college football last season, when he reaches the NFL, he knows that he’ll have to tweak his game.
“I think my game is going to have to evolve,” he acknowledged. “I think I’m going to be called upon to catch the ball more, pass protect more, know what’s going on, on defense more. Make reads on fronts and coverages faster than before. That’s part of becoming a professional from the amateur level. Upping your level of preparation.
“I think my pass protection is solid. This year there was a lot of play-action built in to our game plan. But we did have some drop-back pass. And in past years, the offense was different. I was relied more on pass protection. I think it’s pretty solid.”
Williams, who has meetings scheduled with the Bills, Ravens, Jaguars and Bengals, went through some coaching upheaval while at BC, as the Eagles went from Frank Spaziani to Steve Addazio. While the changes led to some struggles, he said it also helped draw the guys on the roster closer.
“I would say my time at BC was…a journey,” said Williams. “There was a lot going on from year to year, different coaching changes and what not. But I think there was a real stability in the team itself. I really enjoyed being around my teammates. I really enjoyed Chestnut HIll and the Boston area. There’s a lot of great people a lot of great influences around me at BC. I really enjoyed my time there.”