Darrel Williams – Super Bowl LIV Champion with the Kansas City Chiefs – have carved out a role with the franchise that makes him an important part of what Andy Reid’s offense likes to do. Williams may not be the flashiest player in the league – though his Mexican flag LOUDMOUTH mouthguard certainly makes him stand out from the crowd of players and coaches on the NFL sideline on any given Sunday.
What Williams gives the Chiefs is a level of comfort that if something were to happen to the backs in front of him on the depth chart – as it did this year to Clyde Edwards-Helaire (injury) and Le’Veon Bell (ineffective) – he will be able to step in and give the Chiefs a solid ground game whenever they turn to him. Players like this are extremely important in sport as attritional as the NFL and it says plenty that a coach of the caliber of Reid (a future Hall of Famer) likes what Williams does enough to keep the former undrafted rookie free agent at Arrowhead on Sundays.
Williams was a high school superstar at John Ehret High School ins Marrero, Louisiana. His senior season was one that many high school running backs would be happy for as an entire career, where he picked up over 2,000 yards and had a ridiculous 27 touchdowns. This level of performance – plus his measurables – meant that the 4-star recruit was chased by a number of big time college programs. Williams decided to stay in-state – as many Louisianans do – attending LSU ahead of offers from schools such as Florida, Wisconsin, and Tennessee.
Williams got caught up in the running back backlog at LSU, a school that is never short of options on the ground (Edwards-Helaire is also an LSU product for example). His freshman season saw Williams play in 11 games but only total 64 carries as part of a running back rotation that was four backs strong. This role player type status remained with Williams for most of his LSU career, but as a senior he got a chance to sign after an injury to starting back Derrius Guice. He became the first player in the history of LSU football to have a game with 100 yards rushing and 100 yards receiving that October in a contest against Ole Miss, a snapshot of what Williams could be if ever given the chance to be THE guy.
Williams went undrafted in the 2018 NFL Draft – something that wasn’t particularly unexpected given the limited body of work that scouts had to study after his four-years at LSU were over. As a rookie he was rarely used by the Chiefs – totaling 16 involvements from scrimmage for 73 yards, while as a second-year pro he finished the year with 141 rushing yards and three touchdowns. The Chiefs won Super Bowl LIV, though Williams missed this contest as he was on injured reserve at the time.
In 2020 Williams was again a steady hand when called upon. He picked up 169 rushing yards on the ground and had 18 catches for a further 116 yards. He earned a start in the Divisional Round – a game the Chiefs won 38-24 in a win over the Cleveland Browns – and he rushed for 52 yards and a touchdown in the game. Williams is a player that isn’t really to be measured by yards in a season. He excels on special teams, will pick up and blitzing linebacker in pass protection, and basically does all the little thing s- all the intangible things – to help the Chiefs win. That is where his value lies and that is why he will be back in Kansas City for the 2021 NFL season.