Mike Reiss of ESPN Boston's dispatch from the combine today touched on former Virginia Tech RB Ryan Williams and how he might fit into the New England Patriots' draft plans. Unfortunately, it wasn't positive:
RB Williams and pass protection. One of the main areas to inquire about with running back prospects, as they would fit in the Patriots' scheme, is their ability in pass protection. When Virginia Tech's Ryan Williams said he had just three pass protections in college, it stood out as a player who probably won't be rated as highly on the Patriots' board.
Williams during the 2008 season in his first year out of high school, primarily because he had trouble in pass protection. This nugget got me thinking. Did the Hokies dumb-down their pass protections and only have three different protections for Williams or are there only three for all the running backs?
The reason it's relevant is when you start thinking about Virginia Tech running backs, none have made much of an impact in the NFL. Kevin Jones was slowed by injury and terrible offensive lines, but maybe there's a little more to it than that.
If the Hokies only have a few simple pass protection plans for their running backs, it would explain why some have had difficulty transitioning to the NFL, which is a more pass-heavy style of football than the one a lot of colleges play.
I realize I might be taking a simple note about Williams and blowing it way out of proportion, but it is something to ponder. Anyone have any insight into how the Hokies design their pass protection for the running backs?