The Denver Broncos’ 2021 NFL Draft class was one of the best in the entire NFL, as we’ve already discussed, and the stars they’ve drafted are likely to only get better as their professional careers progress.

Patrick Surtain II has received plenty of praise this offseason for his stellar rookie campaign, which saw him emerge as one of the league’s best cornerbacks, and now, Javonte Williams is finally getting his share of the spotlight.

In a recent article highlighting the rookies most likely to have a breakout season in 2022, Pro Football Focus highlighted Javonte Williams as the top running back to keep an eye on.

“This one may be cheating a little, considering Williams went for 903 yards already as a rookie,” PFF’s Michael Renner wrote of the former Tar Heel’s inclusion on the list. “But that pales in comparison to what he could do in 2022. With Melvin Gordon III hitting free agency, the timeshare in Denver will be no more, and the 21-year-old back can shine unhindered. Even with the 15th-most carries in the NFL last year, Williams finished with the second-most broken tackles (63).”

Gordon gobbled up 49 percent of the Broncos’ designed runs in 2022, and although either Mike Boone — or some other addition — is likely to replace some of that production, it appears likely that Williams’ usage should skyrocket.

Plus, he was even more effective that the metric PFF chose to highlight demonstrates.

One could argue that Williams was the hardest player to tackle in the entire league last season. Williams’ 63 missed tackles forced were only two short of Jonathan Taylor’s lead-leading mark, yet Williams had a little more than half the carries Taylor had. Williams also forced missed tackles at a higher rate than any other ballcarrier in the league.

There is reason to be concerned about how he’ll translate to Nathaniel Hackett’s offense, which utilizes outside zone as the foundation of the offense, but if he’s able to survive the scheme shift, it seems likely he’ll soon cement his place as one of the league’s best running backs.