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A native of St. Louis, Missouri, Jameson Williams attended Cardinal Ritter College Prep. He not only excelled in football but was a star when running track as well. Williams holds the Missouri state track record in the 300-meter hurdles. He was part of two state track and field championships in high school. During the last two years of his high school football career, the pass catcher compiled 104 receptions, 2,688 receiving yards and 37 receiving touchdowns. Williams was rated as a four-star recruit and was a top 150 player overall by 247Sports. 247Sports also rated him as the second best prospect to come out of the state of Missouri.
Williams originally committed to play college football at Ohio State. He spent two seasons there in 2019 and 2020. While with the Buckeyes, Williams registered 15 receptions, 266 receiving yards and three touchdowns. He appeared in 22 games while there and made six starts. However, he transferred away from Ohio State and decided to take his talents to Alabama.
Most wide receivers do not transfer to Alabama to receive more playing time. Yet, Williams’ case was entirely different with the Crimson Tide. He hauled in 79 receptions, 1,572 receiving yards and 15 receiving touchdowns. His 19.9 yards per reception average will not be matched by many. Williams earned first-team All-SEC honors as a receiver, as well as second-team All-SEC honors as a returner for 2021. He was also a finalist for the Biletnikoff Award at the end of the season. Despite all of the success, his NFL rookie season will start slowly. The receiver suffered a torn ACL in the National Championship Game against Georgia.
Speed: Obviously, Williams has the speed that many other pass catchers wish they had. It is a game changer for him and allows him to pose threats in many other areas. And it is not just flashes in the pan, so to speak. His ability to explode and reach unbelievable top speed happens in the blink of an eye as well. Not many players can boast a near perfect record when it comes to winning footraces. But with Williams, that will likely not be changing any time soon.
Run After Catch Ability: There is a certain level of aggression and tenacity that Williams brings to the table here. It is not just relying on speed in order to create yards after the catch. On one hand, Williams patiently waits for blocks to develop and realizes where his cutback lanes are. This happens within the quick passing game. In the intermediate passing game, this wide receiver already has a great understanding of spatial awareness and body positioning. He forces defenders to make quick decisions with the rather aggressive angles that he willing to take. Most of all, Williams is ultra-slippery in space and is a handful for tacklers to try and bring down.
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Football IQ: There are a couple of different areas where Williams’ instincts stand out. Let’s start with when the receiver is running his routes. He is routinely quick to turn and find the football. At the same time, Williams does not waste time in taking what the defense is giving him. If there is an opening or leverage point that is available to attack, he will urgently take it. Williams has also shown a great knack for stopping and sitting in underneath zones. This helps to give him increased separation.
As a pass catcher, his adjustments and ability to decelerate at the catch point are crucial. This helps his case in being a true threat to all three levels of the field. Meanwhile, Williams does well to protect the football close to his vest while it is in his grasp.
Release Package: There is not a wide array of moves or fakes within the toolbox of Williams while at the line of scrimmage. When trying to use finesse moves or stutter steps, he does not create much separation for himself. Thus, Williams is essentially using too many wasted movements before truly getting his route fired up. Physical, longer cornerbacks at the NFL level could make this area a greater issue moving forward.
Route Running: Running more crisp routes is a work in progress for Williams. He can be a bit too rounded when breaking off his routes. Williams was also asked to run a fair bit of crossing routes and drag routes at Alabama. Even in those moments, it took him longer than you may expect for him to get started. Wide, awkward strides could slow him down from time to time during those moments. This is an issue that can be improved upon with further coaching.
Hands: This may more of a nitpick, compared to the other two weaknesses. There are certainly more reasons for Williams to better improve with his hands when entering the NFL. He can sometimes let the ball travel too far into his frame. Coaches may want to see him attack the football more and pluck it away from his body more often. Elsewhere, Williams has certain lapses where his focus wanes. This is especially true when needing to make catches in traffic or in close quarters.
Jameson Williams is best suited to be part of a spread offense at the NFL level. That may allow him to see more free releases at the line of scrimmage and less press man coverage from the opposing defenses. As for his alignment, Williams is built to play in the slot or as the Z receiver within the offense.
Due to the blazing run that Williams was on during the latter part of the 2021 college football season, it would not have been surprising to see him selected as the first wide receiver off the board. If that remains the case, teams like the Cleveland Browns, Los Angeles Chargers and New Orleans Saints could all be fits. There is of course his torn ACL injury to monitor, however. If he drops a bit, the Las Vegas Raiders, Buffalo Bills or Tennessee Titans could all make sense.
Be on the lookout for more FPC 2022 NFL Draft profiles in the coming weeks. For more great sports and NFL content, stay tuned to Full Press Coverage.
– Braden Holecek is the Kansas City Chiefs managing editor for Full Press Coverage. He covers the NFL. Like and follow on Follow @ebearcat9//platform.twitter.com/widgets.js Follow @FPC_Chiefs//platform.twitter.com/widgets.js and Facebook.
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