Running back Jamaal Williams had a career season in 2022. He was expected to be a complementary piece to running back D’Andre Swift, whom many people expected to have a breakout season. However, things didn’t go exactly to plan.
Swift battled injuries throughout the season and had his role scaled back immensely. He played in only 14 games and 42 percent of the offensive snaps. That left a bigger-than-anticipated role for Jamaal Williams, who made the most of his chances.
Jamaal Williams turned into their lead back for the season and turned in a record-setting performance. He ran the ball 262 times for 1,066 yards and a league-high 17 touchdowns. The 17 rushing scores were also a franchise record, breaking Barry Sanders’ mark.
The efficiency with which Jamaal Williams ran the ball was a big reason that the Detroit Lions experienced so much success last season. When they got near the goal line, they were scoring touchdowns as teams couldn’t slow him down.
However, after a two-year stint in Detroit, it was time for a change. The Lions agreed to a three-year deal with David Montgomery, formerly of the Chicago Bears, to be the new complement to Swift. That led to Jamaal Williams departing, agreeing to a deal with the New Orleans Saints.
The Saints are getting a player that will be a nice pairing with Alvin Kamara. The shifty Kamara succeeds more in space, while Jamaal Williams gets the job done between the tackles. Part of the reason that he finds so much success is that he is decisive and hits the hole.
As pointed out by NFL Next Gen Stats, Williams is one of the quickest players to the line of scrimmage. He got there in 2.64 seconds, which was second behind only A.J. Dillon of the Green Bay Packers.
That is exactly what the Saints need for their offense that ranked 21st in red zone efficiency last season, scoring a touchdown on only 52.1 percent of their trips there. The presence of Jamaal Williams will certainly help that as he is as efficient as anyone finding the end zone.