New Orleans Saints’ recent signing of veteran running back Darrel Williams and its implications for the team’s running back depth.
New Orleans Saints Strengthen Running Back Corps with Veteran Darrel Williams Signing
Audacy – The New Orleans Saints have bolstered their running back depth by signing veteran Darrel Williams, a former LSU standout. This Darrel Williams signing acquisition follows a workout and adds reliability to the Saints’ running back room, which has been hit hard by injuries. With Eno Benjamin’s season-ending Achilles injury, Kirk Merritt’s hamstring issues, and rookie Kendre Miller’s recent sprained knee, the Darrel Williams signing team’s depth has been challenged. Although star RB Alvin Kamara and veteran Jamaal Williams remain healthy, the Saints will need to navigate the first three weeks without Kamara due to a suspension. Undrafted free agent Ellis Merriweather has also emerged as a contender for playing time after an impressive preseason performance.
Darrel Williams did his thing down at LSU for a solid stretch of four years. Then, in 2018, he made his move to the NFL scene as an undrafted free agent, landing a spot with the Kansas City Chiefs. Those days with the Chiefs, he carved out a real niche for himself as a reliable option for snagging catches out of the backfield. Looking at his Kansas City run spanning four seasons, you’d see him hitting the field for 51 games, racking up a cool 912 rushing yards and punching in 10 touchdowns on 237 carries. And it’s not just ground game action – he had his fair share in the air game too, hauling in 83 passes for a total of 762 yards and finding the end zone four more times. Also, a little side note, he took a spin with the Arizona Cardinals during the 2022 season, stepping in when Benjamin stepped out, and although it was a bit limited, he still brought some game to the table.
The addition of Williams Darrel Williams signing definitely fits into the trend of having more Louisiana-born folks and ex-LSU standouts populating the Saints’ crew. Just look at names like Tyrann Mathieu, Foster Moreau, Malcolm Roach, Jontre Kirklin, and Kirk Merritt Darrel Williams signing sharing the field. This whole setup with Williams Darrel Williams signing really doubles down on keeping that link strong with the team’s origins, and it’s like a spotlight on the rich talent that flows from the state’s football programs.
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Running Back Williams Bolsters Saints’ Depth Chart Amid Injuries
According to Saints Wire, the Saints’ depth chart has been dealing with a bunch of injury blows, but the entrance of Darrel Williams signing as a running back could be the fix they need. The team’s rookie pick from the third round, Kendre Miller, is out on the sidelines with a pesky knee sprain, and on top of that, Kirk Merritt, Darrel Williams signing, the backup, is nursing a nagging hamstring issue. And to add some more to the mix, there’s Eno Benjamin’s season-ending Achilles injury, which has left a gap, and Alvin Kamara’s looking at a three-game suspension, making the roster even more stretched.
At 28 years old, Williams is bringing in some much-needed skills. Standing at 5-foot-11 and weighing 219 pounds, he’s got that versatility factor and a knack for hauling in catches, which makes him a real gem. True, he didn’t have too much spotlight time with the Arizona Cardinals last season, but his days with the Kansas City Chiefs did show off his promise. He’s got a combined 1,014 yards gained from running and 771 from receiving over his four years in Kansas City, with a nice 15 touchdowns to round it out.
His standout time was in 2021, when he really hit his stride with 558 rushing yards and six touchdowns on the ground, and then added another 452 yards through the air and two touchdowns from catching. Plus, let’s not forget, he’s got his share of special teams know-how. And being a former LSU standout, he’s got a connection to the New Orleans community that runs deep. In the midst of all the challenges, his arrival is like a breath of fresh air for the Saints’ depth chart. With his experience, flexibility, and a track record to back it up, there’s a solid chance he could be just the ticket to give this roster a good boost in the upcoming season.