Steelers show a lack of interest in North Carolina RB Javonte Williams

North Carolina Tar Heels running back Javonte Williams (25). Mandatory Credit: James Guillory-USA TODAY Sports
North Carolina Tar Heels running back Javonte Williams (25). Mandatory Credit: James Guillory-USA TODAY Sports /

The Steelers didn’t send any of their top dogs to North Carolina’s Pro Day. Here’s why Javonte Williams probably isn’t high on their board. 

North Carolina held their Pro Day on Monday afternoon, and there were many teams in attendance. Much of Pittsburgh’s media predicted that Mike Tomlin and Kevin Colbert would make the trip to scout running back, Javonte Williams, but that wasn’t the case.

While North Carolina’s Pro Day featured several household names on the offensive side of the ball, the Steelers sent their brass down to Miami – a school that is known for their talent along the defensive line – and Tomlin apparently had a meeting with edge rusher, Jaelan Phillips.

Though running back coach, Eddie Faulkner made the trip to UNC’s Pro Day, it is clear that the Steelers don’t possess the same level of interest in running back Javonte Williams that many fans share. There could be several reasons for this.

Why Steelers showed a lack of interest in Javonte Williams

After really sizing up the running back talent at Clemson and Alabama, most believed that Pittsburgh would send their top dogs to North Carolina for Javonte Williams. Mike Tomlin had virtual meetings with both Travis Etienne and Najee Harris this offseason, and many believe that Williams isn’t far behind these two backs. However, there seems to be a much smaller chance that he is drafted by the Steelers after they knowingly neglected to visit him during his Pro Day.

In addition, Williams didn’t measure even close to what he was listed in college. According to ESPN, Williams played at 5’10” and 220 pounds last season. But this obviously wasn’t the case. His Pro Day results showed that he measured in at 5’9” on the dot and just 212 pounds – far from the thresholds this team typically looks for in a feature running back.

While the Steelers might be able to make an exception for this, Williams ran just a 4.58 40-yard dash at a size that was much smaller than expected. This speed number was nearly identical to Le’Veon Bell coming out; however, Bell was able to do this at 6’1” and 230 pounds.

Williams tested as a solid athlete overall, but his lack of top-end speed and his small stature could change Pittsburgh’s opinion of him (assuming they held a high opinion, to begin with). Also testing on Monday was running back Michael Carter, who is widely considered to be a day-two candidate. Carter’s athletic testing was even less impressive, and he measured in at just 5’7 3/4” and 201 pounds.

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With only running back coach Eddie Faulker on hand, I can almost say with certainty that Javonte Williams won’t be in consideration for the Steelers with the 24th overall pick. However, there is a glimmer of hope that he could still be on their radar in round two if he falls that far. Either way, he didn’t do much to help his stock at his Pro Day, and Pittsburgh just doesn’t seem that interested.