20/20: Jameson Williams, WR Alabama

Frank Gruber

Welcome to the 20/20 series. As part of our Dynasty Scouts coverage and in preparation for the NFL Combine, we profile 20 of the top incoming rookies of the class of 2022 by giving you 20 facts you must know.

1. Player Name: Jameson Williams

2. College: Alabama

3. Height/Weight: 6’2” and 189 pounds

4. Birthdate: March 26, 2001 (20)

5. Class: Junior

6. Basic college stats: Williams spent his first two seasons with Ohio State, where he totaled 15 catches for 266 yards in ten games. He transferred to Alabama before the 2021 season.

It was a smart decision as he went on to lead the SEC in receiving yards (1,572) yards per reception (19.9) and receiving touchdowns (15). He added 352 yards and two touchdowns on kickoff returns.

screenshot 2022 02 25 at 14.34.24

Statistics from Sports Reference.

7. NFL draft round projection: It took some folks until December to recognize Williams’ talent, production and NFL potential, but since then he has projected as a first-round NFL Draft selection. He still could sneak into the first round despite tearing his ACL in the National Championship game.

screenshot 2022 02 25 at 14.35.17

Data from NFL Mock Draft Database.

8. Current NFL comp: Player comps are not my strong suit but I’ll stay within the Crimson Tide and compare Williams to recent Alabama receivers Jerry Jeudy (6’1” and 193 pounds) and Jaylen Waddle (5’10”, 182 pounds). Williams has a size advantage over both, and probably a speed advantage over both, as well. He is not as elusive as Waddle but can easily make defenders miss, and is not as straight-linish as you will hear in the coming months (more on this later).

9. Best possible destination: Williams is often being mocked to the Las Vegas Raiders at pick 22. The Raiders are a top-ten passing volume offense that lacks an alpha target. Other high-volume teams (Kansas City, Buffalo, Dallas, Los Angeles Rams) either have an incumbent dynasty WR1 or a quarterback transition from a Hall of Famer to an unknown (Tampa Bay, Pittsburgh).

A landing spot such as Jacksonville is also fun to think about. Trevor Lawrence has upside after Urban Meyer’s departure, and people seem to forget new head coach Doug Pederson produced a top-three offense in his 2017 Super Bowl-winning season. The Jaguars’ top three wide receivers in 2021 were Marvin Jones (73-832-4), Laviska Shenault Jr. (63-619-0) and none other than Laquon Treadwell (33-434-1). Jones will turn 32 years old before next season, and has a potential out on his contract that could trim some of his anticipated $8.7 million cap hit – an attractive option for a presumably rebuilding team.

10. Worst possible destination: Worst possible destinations include teams that check boxes in at least two of these categories: low volume passing offense, incumbent WR1 and uncertainty/turnover. Such teams include New Orleans, Chicago, Carolina, Cleveland and Indianapolis.

11. Best current skill: Speed. Williams always looks like the fastest player on the field. He projects to be one of the rare NFL players who can score from anywhere.

12. Skill that needs to be improved: He is more well-rounded than most analysts think. Therefore, rather than rattle off a few standard technical points (footwork this or that), I’ll point to Williams’ rehabilitation from last month’s ACL injury. He only has one year of production, but in that time showed elite ability and a more complete game than for which he is credited. He just needs to focus on recovery and continuing to develop his craft.

13. Current rookie ADP: In 1QB leagues, Williams is DLF’s sixth-ranked rookie, projecting him as a mid-first-round pick in 1QB rookie drafts. This puts him as WR4 in the class, between USC’s Drake London and Ohio State’s Chris Olave. He projects as pick 1.09 in our Rookie Superflex rankings, still as WR4 and between quarterbacks Kenny Pickett and Sam Howell.

14. Projected dynasty value: Our Cornerstone Rankings combine first and second-year NFL players with 2022 rookies. Williams comes in at 46 on this list, valuing him among veterans such as AJ Dillon, James Robinson, and fellow rookie receivers George Pickens and Drake London.

We can further infer his dynasty value by entering his projected superflex rookie draft spot (1.09) into the Dynasty Trade Analyzer. It values Williams in line with players such as Calvin Ridley, Zach Wilson, DeAndre Hopkins and Amari Cooper.

15. Willis McGahee Vibes: In 2002, McGahee was a one-year wonder running back at Miami (Fl). He rushed for 1,753 yards and finished fourth in the Heisman Trophy voting. He tore his ACL in the fourth quarter of the national championship game but still went on to become the 23rd selection in that April’s NFL Draft.

16. More Nuanced Than You’ll Hear: The raw, straight-line speedster narrative seems to be developing with Williams. I contend he is more well-rounded and developed. He does not just win with speed. He is more elusive than commonly credited and he flashes good awareness at times.

At the 2:04 mark of this clip below, Alabama faces a third and four deep in their territory. Bryce Young checks down to Williams, who catches the ball short of the sticks with his back to the marker, but has the presence of mind to secure the ball and simply press forward to get the first down. Of course, his highlights are also full of flashy YAC production.

17. One year wonder…: Williams only had 15 catches before his junior season, which ended with an ACL injury. He will have to prove he is capable of sustaining success.

18. …Still with favorable metrics: Even as a one-year producer, Williams looks good from a metrics perspective. His college dominator and target share metrics still place in the top half of historical wide receiver prospects, as does his breakout age which, despite hitting as a junior, still provides comfort. And his 19.9 college yards per reception put him in the top ten percent of all WR prospects.

19. All-around contributor: On a team full of blue-chip athletes, Williams not only won the kickoff return job, but averaged 35.2 yards per return.

20. Fun to watch: Be sure to check out both clips on his DLF Video Page. Williams is an explosive playmaker.

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20/20: Jameson Williams, WR Alabama