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Broncos claim running back Stanley Williams and release running back Bernard Pierce

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The Broncos added some depth to the running back position today.

Vanderbilt v Kentucky Photo by Andy Lyons/Getty Images

The Denver Broncos announced today that they have released veteran running back Bernard Pierce and claimed running back Stanley Williams off waivers from the Cincinnati Bengals to replace his roster spot.

Williams is a 5’8”, 190lb running back who played his college ball at the University of Kentucky. He played three seasons at Kentucky and put up some impressive numbers. During his three-year career, he totaled 2,513 yards rushing and 18 touchdowns. He also averaged a very impressive 6.8 yards per carry during his career. He also hauled in 38 career receptions for 292 yards and 2 touchdowns.

He was signed as an undrafted rookie this past May by the Cincinnati Bengals and stuck with the team before being waived on August 20th. Now he will have a chance to prove himself to the Broncos during the final two weeks of the preseason.

His usage so far in the preseason with the Bengals has been pretty sparse. He only has four carries for 11 yards this preseason.

Williams joins a loaded Broncos backfield that currently has C.J. Anderson, veteran Jamaal Charles, impressive rookie De’Angelo Henderson, veteran Stevan Ridley, and Juwan Thompson ahead of him on the depth chart. So his odds of cracking the roster are about as slim as you can get, but he will have to show that he’s worthy of a spot on their 10-man Practice Squad.

Here’s a scouting report on Stanley Williams from NFL.com’s draft expert Lance Zierlein.

STRENGTHS:

Sports tremendous burst to the edge. Has the acceleration ability to run with extended patience on outside zone plays. Heels barely touch the ground during his runs and he has lateral agility to make wide cuts to avoid tacklers. Able to rip through a crease when he sees it. Combination of speed and elusiveness makes him a nemesis in space. Has some value on slip screens. May offer some kick return value.

WEAKNESSES:

Undersized for anything other than a change-of-pace role. Not a very tough runner when tasked with work between the tackles. Runs come crashing to a halt when he senses contact on interior. Unable to break tackles or generate much yardage after contact. Way too hesitant when on downhill runs. Tends to dance and look for large point of entry rather than trusting his blockers. Vision is very average. Drops and fumbles are an issue.

DRAFT PROJECTION:

PFA

BOTTOM LINE:

Scat back with outstanding burst who can create for himself in space, but is not about that life when asked to run between the tackles. Williams doesn't have the blocking or the hands to be a full-time third-down back and he lacks the decisiveness and vision necessary to handle snaps as a backup. While he does have plus athletic ability, Williams may be too limited in what he can offer a team from a roster flexibility standpoint.

Williams replaces veteran running back Bernard Pierce who has missed a vast majority of Training Camp and all two of the Broncos preseason games because of a hamstring injury. It was only a matter of time before the Broncos moved on from Pierce.