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49ers roster breakdowns, 90-in-90: Joe Williams

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Breaking down the 90 players on the 49ers offseason roster in 90 posts (over 90 or so days). We move on to running back Joe Williams.

Each year, we run a series of post called "90-in-90" here at Niners Nation. The idea is that we'll take a look at every single player on the roster, from the very bottom to the top and break them down a few different ways. This is to help give everyone a basic understanding of a roster. Of course, this roster will change, and some days we'll have more than one so it's not strictly one per day but you get the idea.

The San Francisco 49ers drafted running back Joe Williams in the fourth round of the 2017 NFL Draft. General Manager John Lynch said that he had not considered Williams upon learning he’d “retired” from football and left his team at Utah for a brief period. After gaining a greater understanding of what happened, the 49ers looked at his talent and got him on their board. Williams took time away from football to deal with the mental and emotional stress of losing his sister in 2006.

Once he was able to return to his team, Williams finished the final seven games of his career at Utah averaging 27 carries for 190 yards. He had 332 yards and four touchdowns against UCLA, and 222 rushing yards in the Foster Farms Bowl against Indiana. So, yeah, talent won out on this one.

The 49ers are committed to having a support system in place for Williams both on and off the field to make sure he succeeds.

Basic info

Age: 23 (24 on September 4)
Experience: Rookie
Height: 5’11
Weight: 210 lbs

Cap status

Signed four-year, $3,029,384 rookie contract. Received a $629,384 signing bonus, with a 2017 base salary of $465,000.

What to expect 2017

With Carlos Hyde in a contract year, the Joe Williams 2017 story becomes an interesting one. Do I believe he will start the year as the 49ers’ starting running back? No. But do I believe he will see a fair amount of playing time? Yes.

Hyde has had a lot of trouble staying healthy, so having someone to share the workload with may keep him in the game for an entire season, which has yet to be the case thus far in his career.

Head coach Kyle Shanahan’s outside-zone scheme is a good fit for the speedy Williams, so I see the two backs both getting a lot of reps. However, if Williams can prove himself to be a No. 1 back, watch out Carlos. I would not be surprised if Williams starts at some point this season.

Odds of making the team

See above. I’d say they’re pretty high. Joe Williams may be one of the most fun rookies to watch in 2017. Under running backs coach Bobby Turner and Shanahan, Niner fans may see the young running back turn into a star. Stay tuned.