Cincinnati Bengals UDFAs to watch – No. 2: Pooka Williams
This one is tricky because of what the Bengals’ running back situation currently looks like. Joe Mixon is going to be the starter and Samaje Perine will be the backup. Considering the Bengals spent a sixth-round pick on Chris Evans, that doesn’t leave much room for anyone else to make a splash, unfortunately.
If another running back is going to emerge and make things interesting on this roster, it’ll be Pooka Williams out of Kansas. It was surprising to see Williams not hear his name called during the 2021 NFL Draft but when the draft ended, Cincinnati made sure to sign him.
Williams was the lone bright spot on an otherwise bleak Kansas offense. He rushed for over 1,000 yards in each of his first two seasons and was a threat as a pass-catcher as well. While his junior season was disappointing, it was a weird year for everyone and he opted out midway through the season.
Somewhere Williams could slide in at is as a punt returner. The Bengals lost Alex Erickson to free agency and that leaves a gaping hole there but there are options for sure. Williams impressed when given the chance to return punts and according to Patrick Judis of Cincy Jungle,
"Undrafted Kansas running back Pooka Williams made a name for himself by consistently making defenders miss in the open field. He also possesses incredible agility, which gives him one of the sickest juke/stutter moves you will ever see. He also has that homerun speed to take a kick to the house that was severely lacking with Erickson."
This is where Williams can stake his claim on the Bengals roster. He could be an option at running back as well depending on how many backs the team opts to carry but with Mixon, Perine, and Evans all surely making the roster, Williams needs to flash something on special teams.