Ooooh, here’s an exciting one.
Williams is a sensible first-round target for the Eagles at No. 15 or No. 18. Philly’s receiving corps could obviously use a boost, especially after the team tried but failed to upgrade the position through free agency.
Coming off a season where he logged 79 receptions for 1,572 yards (19.9 average!) and 15 touchdowns, Williams is a pretty intriguing prospect. He also demonstrated value as a kick returner with 10 tries for 352 yards and two scores. The 21-year-old is clearly a super explosive game-breaker.
Two things working against Williams: 1) he only had 15 combined receptions in 10 games over two years with Ohio State before transferring to Alabama and 2) he’s coming off an ACL injury that he suffered in the national championship game on January 10.
On the former point, Williams was stuck behind some top-notch receiving talent — such as fellow first-round WR prospects Chris Olave and Garrett Wilson — on the Buckeyes’ roster. On the latter point, Williams is said to be “ahead of schedule” in his recovery. Of course, every player in the history of the NFL has always been described that way. But all indications point to Williams suffering a “normal” ACL tear as opposed to a more complicated one like Carson Wentz dealt with in 2017. Or a devastating Achilles injury like Sidney Jones experienced at his pro day.
The Eagles will have an opportunity to better evaluate Williams’ medical situation by bringing him to the NovaCare Complex. Assuming there are no major red flags, they should strongly consider taking him with one of their two first-round picks. That is, assuming he’s even still available to them.
Williams and DeVonta Smith in the same receiver room is an exciting prospect Hard to go wrong loading up on Alabama pass-catchers. In theory, at least, Williams’ vertical threat should open up more room for Smith. Not to mention lessening the boxes that the Eagles’ running game could face.
Scouting report via NFL.com’s Lance Zierlein:
Linear route-runner with electric long speed to impact a game as a home-run hitter or decoy drawing defenders away from other elements of the offense. Williams ruins man coverage but faces some limitations. He has issues getting off press cleanly and might require some scheming to help get off the mark cleanly against certain corners. Catch toughness can be inconsistent when contested or in heavily trafficked areas. He has all the juice to find consistent separation on vertical, over and post/corner routes and could see monstrous production if paired with a high-end talent at quarterback. The ACL tear could play a role in determining his ultimate draft destination, but it’s unlikely to change his game.
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Alabama WR Jameson Williams