Alabama's Jameson Williams has the chance to be a difference-maker in the NFL because of his speed. Is that enough for the Atlanta Falcons to pull the trigger with the No. 8 pick in the NFL Draft come April 28?
According to ESPN's Chris Mortensen, the feeling around the NFL is that Williams will be selected within the top 10 picks of the draft. The Falcons could be the first team to target a receiver, but the New York Jets also have shown interest in adding a vertical pass-catcher after trying to trade for now-Dolphins speedster Tyreek Hill.
The Jets currently own the No. 4 and No. 10 pick.
A consensus first-round selection, Williams was considered to be the top receiver in the class prior to suffering a torn ACL in the national championship loss to Georgia. According to his medical staff, the 6-foot, 190-pound target is expected to be ahead of schedule and shouldn't miss much time to begin the regular season.
After being lost in the crowd at Ohio State, Williams elected to transfer to Alabama for his final season. In 13 games, he recorded 79 receptions and 15 touchdowns to go along with 1,572 receiving yards — third-most in program history.
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By this point, it's evident that Atlanta needs a new No. 1 receiver. Julio Jones was traded away last offseason for a second- and fourth-round pick. Calvin Ridley is suspended for the entire season and Russell Gage agreed to terms on a three-year deal worth $30 million with NFC South rival Tampa Bay.
Williams' game mirrors that of Pro Bowler DeSean Jackson. Both are known for their ability to take the tops off of defenses, but the also are highly-regarded for their route-running skills. Williams isn't as polished as Ohio State's Chris Olave in that category, but he could be one of the best and most well-rounded receivers in the class with time.
Should all the medicals be cleared, Falcons general manager Terry Fontenot should at least consider making Williams the next great Atlanta receiver. Fontenot's approach in the draft has always been taking the "best player available" to build a foundation.
When healthy, Williams fits the criteria. It shouldn't come as a shock that teams could be looking to trade up for former Alabama receiver as well. According to reports, the Philadelphia Eagles could explore options to trade up for Williams to add to their receiving room.