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Mile High Morning: Javonte Williams earns high praise in top-10 RB ranking from ESPN


The Lead

ESPN's top-10 positional rankings roll on, and the Broncos saw another 2021 draft pick to earn the impressive honor after Pat Surtain II was slotted as the seventh-best cornerback earlier in the week.

This time, it's running back Javonte Williams who made the cut, as he was put at No. 10 after just one season playing football in the NFL. As ESPN's Jeremy Fowler notes, Williams beat out Chargers do-it-all back Austin Ekeler for the final slot, perhaps because of Williams' skills as a "pure runner."

"You can't get him on the ground, can't tackle him," an NFL personnel official told ESPN. "That kid is really good. Depends which offense you're running in that [Ekeler vs. Williams] discussion, and Ekeler is really, really good. But with Williams you just can see defenses feeling like, 'I'm tired of tackling him.' He's not as fast as [Colts running back Jonathan] Taylor but has everything else."

Williams' highest ranking from a member of ESPN's panel of NFL players, coaches and executives was second in the league.

"He's a guy you build an offense around," a coach told ESPN. "He does stuff other guys can't do. Such great balance, strong. Can turn a loss into a 10-yard gain."

Below the Fold

In other rankings news, CBS Sports' Cody Benjamin has created a list of the NFL’s top 30 players that are at least 30 years old, and Russell Wilson is near the top at No. 4.

"His 2021 finger injury was seemingly a physical and mental hiccup, throwing the former Super Bowl champion out of sync," Benjamin writes. "And his post-Seahawks scenery could have growing pains. Still, he's done it so well for so long, bringing nearly unmatched poise, elusiveness and deep-ball touch to the table, that it would be foolish to count him out."

The Unclassifieds

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