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NAME: Jameson Williams
POSITION: Wide Receiver
WEIGHT: 179 pounds
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.
Rising Up The Ranks
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 may start slowly. The receiver suffered a torn ACL in the National Championship Game against Georgia.
Instead of listing positives and negatives for traits, this year we will be listing the best trait of each prospect and work our way down to the biggest area of improvement/absent trait(s), from top to bottom.
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 is willing to take. Most of all, Williams is ultra-slippery in space and is a handful for tacklers to try and bring down.
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.
The aforementioned adjustments and body control are part of what make Williams extremely dangerous in his ability to separate. First off, he can reach top speed and then stop on a dime to find that soft spot in coverage. He is also rather smooth and fluid when it comes to his footwork and change of direction skills. Williams uses sharp cuts and steps, often leaving defenders guessing on when he is going to complete a break within the route. When he wants to, the receiver can alter that to using more subtle, soft steps. As a result, Williams is able to uncover further at the top of routes, or when looking to get deep down the field.
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More than anything, Williams works hard to try and get to any football, no matter how difficult the catch may seem. The game simply slows down for him at the catch point. Essentially, his style of tracking and adjusting to the football make him a soft target to throw to, so to speak. Williams protects and shields the ball away from defensive backs in those moments. On the other hand, he has a knack of making catches with the ball far away from his frame. Williams’ contortion skills and long arms allow him to snatch the ball away from his body, while still having the opportunity to recover and turn on the afterburners.
In the right NFL offense, or with the proper NFL head coach, Williams’ talents could be utilized in a wide array of ways. He is likely suited for a slot receiver or Z-receiver role as he enters the NFL level. Nevertheless, there is no shortage of routes that Williams could be tasked with. His ability to win in all three levels exemplifies that even greater.
Moreover, Williams has the speed and dynamic open field ability to be used on quick passing situations. The more he grows with his release package, the more comfortable his offense may be in giving him short throws and then allowing him to make magic after the catch. Perhaps, touch passes behind the line of scrimmage or reverses could give him similar opportunities. The quicker that Williams can get his hands on the football, the better the outcome for the offense.
There are certainly some 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.
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.
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.
Jameson Williams is arguably the top wide receiver in this year’s draft class. If not, he is right up there. It may seem impossible for him to slip into the range of where Kansas City is selecting. However, the Chiefs could always trade up, especially when you consider their large haul of selections that they currently have. The injury of Williams could always scare some teams off a bit as well. As we well know, teams can easily fall in love with someone else who is healthier, or the value of certain players can vary from one team’s board to the next.
In Kansas City, Williams would be about the closest replacement to Tyreek Hill, as the Chiefs could possibly find. He is a bit taller than Hill. Yet, the home run hitting speed, elusiveness after the catch, field vision and explosive play ability of Williams could open up the Chiefs offense even further. That could mix in well with the size that Kansas City added in JuJu Smith-Schuster and Marquez Valdes-Scantling. It would give Patrick Mahomes a new potential WR1 for years to come.
Be on the lookout for more FPC Chiefs draft prospect profiles throughout this spring. 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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