FOXBOROUGH, Mass. -- The New England Patriots claimed rookie running back Trey Williams on waivers from the Cowboys on Tuesday, as the undrafted rookie free agent from Texas A&M joins his third team this year.
Here is some NFL Nation-level insight from ESPN.com reporters that covered him, followed by a Patriots-related thought:
John Keim, Washington (signed as an undrafted free agent): They really liked Trey Williams potential entering camp because of his quick feet. Felt he might do some damage in the open field in the screen game. But he was a bit too hesitant throughout the summer so that footwork wasn't always noticeable on runs from scrimmage. You could see it in flashes or in one-on-one drills. He was clearly behind the other running backs, as his awareness in the pass game wasn't at the same level as others. I'd say he was fifth among the running backs. They didn't have any interest in re-signing him to their practice squad.
Todd Archer, Dallas (signed to 53-man roster from Washington practice squad): Because he never played in a game, it is difficult to say anything definitive about his month with the team. He was said to have worked hard, and had some notable quickness, but the Cowboys' actions spoke volumes; they signed running back Robert Turbin on a Wednesday and played him the following Sunday over Williams.
Patriots-based thought: One thing that stood out in film review from Sunday's loss to the Broncos is that the Patriots are currently lacking players who can make defenders miss consistently when Julian Edelman and Danny Amendola aren't available. The 5-foot-7, 195-pound Williams appears to have more upside in that area than the three other backs on the roster since Dion Lewis landed on injured reserve, and he also has some kickoff return experience. He is fast (4.49 time in 40-yard dash) and shifty (6.84 three-cone drill). He's worth a look at minimal cost, as the team assumes his two-year contract that pays him a prorated portion of his $435,000 base salary. Best-case scenario is that this is a Danny Woodhead-type situation, circa 2010, when he was cut by the Jets and signed by New England in an under-the-radar move before thriving in a different type of offensive system that was uniquely tailored to his unique skill set. If it doesn't unfold that way, there is still little risk assumed by the team.