Wake Forest North Carolina Football

North Carolina’s Javonte Williams (25) during a game in Chapel Hill, N.C., last season. The Denver Broncos selected Williams with the 35th overall pick in the NFL draft on Friday.

The Broncos weren't on Javonte Williams' radar. 

But the North Carolina running back was Denver's pick in the second round Friday at the NFL Draft. The Broncos even traded up to get him. 

"I didn't expect the Broncos to be the team that I went to," Williams said. "Just throughout the process, it wasn't a team that I talked to a lot. But I remember (running backs coach Curtis Modkins) was at my pro day. It's just a blessing to be here and I'm ready to get to Denver and ready to start." 

In the trade with the Falcons, Denver got the 35th pick and 219th pick (sixth round), with Atlanta receiving the 40th pick and 114th pick (fourth round). The Broncos also got their running back of the future, who many believe is one of the best in the draft, including himself.

"I definitely felt like I was the best running back in the draft," Williams said. "Just having to sit there throughout the whole draft (Thursday) was hard for me. But I've always been overlooked my whole career."

Williams has gone under the radar most of his football career — he didn't even playing running back until he was a senior in high school. He played linebacker his first three years at Wallace-Rose Hill High School (Teachey, North Carolina). With little to no offers, he switch to running back his final year and rushed for 2,271 rushing yards and 27 touchdowns. 

In the state title game that year, he rushed for 207 yards and touchdowns, winning championship MVP and earning an offer from North Carolina. 

Williams rushed for 2,297 yards and 19 touchdowns and 29 touchdowns in three seasons at North Carolina. He was one of the best running backs in the country last season, rushing for 1,140 yards and 19 touchdowns on 157 rushing attempts.  

After letting Phillip Lindsay go and Melvin Gordon entering the final year of his contract, taking Williams was a necessary move for the Broncos. Williams, who has been most compared to Cleveland's Nick Chubb, is an explosive back who will help spark Denver's rushing attack. 

"If I get that comparison, I'm doing something right," Williams said of being compared to Chubb. "I feel like I'm a three-down back. I feel very versatile. I feel like I can do everything at the running back position."

Williams said he looks forward to the challenge of splitting carries with Gordon and is ready to carry a good amount of the load, if needed. 

"I'm ready to come in and compete with Melvin Gordon, (Mike) Boone, (Royce) Freeman and anyone else in the room," Williams said. "I've been watching Melvin Gordon since he was in Wisconsin. Coming in and picking up something from his game will be huge for my game."

Load comments