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2022 NFL Draft Prospect Profile: WR Jameson Williams, Alabama

The Giants will likely add some receivers. So let's see how Alabama's Jameson Wiliams might be a fit.
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Jameson Williams, WR

Height: 6’2
Weight: 189 lbs.
Class: Junior
School: Alabama


A former four-star recruit out of St. Louis, Missouri, where he attended Cardinal Ritter College Prep High School. Williams was the 13th WR recruit and the first overall prospect in the 2019 cycle. Williams was a star track athlete in high school and won back-to-back Class 3 state titles in the 300-meter hurdles. He set the state record in Missouri.

Williams committed to Ohio State in 2019, and played two seasons as a Buckeye before transferring to the Alabama Crimson Tide before the 2021 season. Williams tore his ACL in the national championship game against Georgia. He is reportedly ahead of schedule with his rehab; he no longer wears a brace and he’s off crutches. He recently told Pro Football Talk that he’ll be a different monster once he returns to the football field.

Notables

Ohio State’s receiver depth of Chris Olave, Garrett Wilson, and Jaxon Smith-Njigba (although the lack of usage is still alarming) led Williams to transfer to the Crimson Tide who had just sent Devonta Smith and Jalen Waddle to the NFL. Williams established himself to the NCAA world as the next top echelon WR to come out of Alabama.

Through two years at Ohio State, Williams had 15 catches for 266-yards and three touchdowns. In one season with Alabama, he had 115 targets and 78 catches for 1,561-yards and 15 touchdowns in a dominante junior season. Williams burned Georgia’s incredible defense for 175-yards and two touchdowns in the SEC Championship team. During the championship game, he caught all four targets for 65-yards before he tore his ACL.

Regardless of the injury, and the extra two years of eligibility Williams possessed, he decided to enter the draft with a chip on his shoulder. Williams is a blazing fast wide receiver who can take the top off the defense and he’s very smooth with his ability to make sharp cuts. He has the potential to be the next star Alabama WR in the NFL.

Strengths

  • Has good length and a wide catch radius
  • Blazing speed and elite athletic capabilities
  • Excellent stop/start ability at the top of breaks
  • Big play waiting to happen with take the top off the defense type of ability
  • Has a good shot at being one of the best deep threats (but more than just that) in the NFL
  • Displayed quick feet and swat at LOS to release
  • Sells vertical stem well, quick to stop and flip his hips
  • Doesn’t lose stride with shoulder/head fakes to manipulate
  • Quickly accelerates into the cushion of DBs in off-coverage
  • Has a second and third gear - ability to create vertical/horizontal separation is silly
  • Great concentration and tracking ability; his ability to quickly turn back to the quarterback, locate, and firm-hand pluck the ball out of the air makes the threat of his vertical game even more appealing.
  • A very good route runner at all three levels of the field
  • Good overall hands to catch away from his frame, can make tough catches in traffic
  • Ball skills are good, as is his ability to locate and control his body when airborne
  • Despite his lean frame, he made several impressive contested catches
  • Very agile in space, tough to locate
  • The ability to create YAC with athleticism is excellent
  • Is competitive and deceptive while running routes and with the football in his hand
  • Smart route runner who understands how to manipulate DBs leverage with route running and how to find soft spots in zone coverage
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Can Improve

  • The injury may give teams reservations, might not be healthy for week one
  • Has a lanky, thin, frame
  • Had a lot of free releases, wasn’t asked to consistently defeat press coverage
  • Saw one play vs Arkansas where he alligator armed a pass to the flat
  • That play, combined with sub-par effort as a blocker, suggest a lack of 100% effort in all areas of playing WR
  • Won’t create YAC with physicality, but good luck corralling him
  • Questions about his lack of usage at Ohio State will be asked and should be asked

Summary

Overall, Jameson Williams’ injury may hurt his draft stock a smidge; but, when he gets healthy, which could be as early as the start of the season, he’s going to be an immediate contributor to an offense. Williams has rare speed, play-making ability, and is a smooth route runner who can beat good defensive backs in a variety of ways. 

He doesn’t have the ideal build, but he’s a future playmaking machine or monster, as he put it. Defensive coordinators will have to account for his homerun ability; he posted 11 touchdowns of 30-plus yards in 2021. 

His traits, route running, concentration, and savvy understanding of defensive leverage are all translatable to the NFL. If he falls to the twenties in the draft, some lucky team will be receiving a gift.

GRADE: 6.87 M

“M” stands for medical designation.


 

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