Before going down with a torn ACL in the National Championship, Alabama wideout Jameson Williams was largely considered the best receiver in this class. Now, after a record-setting combine for the wide receivers, where does Williams land?
- Speed – he will torch your best corner in one-on-one coverage. He also will find himself open in zone coverage on slants across the middle. His average yards-per-reception this season was 19.90, which is the 8th best in the country, and the third-highest among 1000+ yard receivers.
- Route-running – This pairs well with his speed. Like I said, when he’s not a deep threat, you can expect to see him get active across the middle and make his defender miss. His release is also well above-average.
- Aggressive hands – When the ball is in his vicinity and the coverage is tight, he can fight for it and win.
- Making defenders miss – One of the biggest difficulties players face when making the jump to the NFL is how much better defenses are at tackling. Williams, despite being agile enough to get past defenders, isn’t strong enough yet or creative enough to make defenders miss consistently. Using his yards-per-reception once more, we can see that 8th highest simply isn’t good enough for a guy as fast as he is in the type of offense Alabama ran. He’ll get past corners, but once the ball is in his hands, his creativity disappears.
- Torn ACL – This will be a topic of conversation even after he is drafted. The ACL tear occurred in Alabama’s final game of the season, meaning Williams won’t be able to participate in the combine.
- Complacency – When his hands are active, you know he’s going to have a good day. However, he will also get complacent on passes, allowing them to fall into his chest/pads before securing the catch.
- One-year starter
The torn ACL shouldn’t scare anyone off too much – he is still a Day 1 selection. The bigger question mark to me is his one year of tape. The other top receivers in this class all have multiple years of college production and growth to scout.
Where Does He Land/Fit?
Funnily enough, his lowered draft stock will put him on a better team, with better coaching and staff – which is what he needs. He will likely be picked up anywhere from 22-32, and my best fits for him are Buffalo, Dallas, Tennessee, Miami, and Kansas City.