The San Francisco 49ers decided to trade up in the fourth round, so they could select former Utah running back Joe Williams with the 121st pick in the 2017 NFL Draft. Williams is the third Utah player drafted so far in the 2017 NFL Draft with more than three rounds left to go.
Williams had an interesting path to the NFL draft. He went to UConn out of high school. He was kicked off the team and went to junior college at ASA College. He then came to Utah where he was the backup to Devontae Booker for a year. As a senior in 2016, he was the starter to start the season. However, after two games, he opted to retire from football. Utah had a string of injuries at the running back position, so they approached Williams to come out of retirement, and boy did he. Williams set a school record 332 yards at UCLA, which is likely the most rushing yards in the Rose Bowl. Williams finished his senior year with 1407 rushing yards in only nine games. His combination of size and speed are rare to find in a running back. He has the ability to run around, through, and past defenders.