Eagles Prospect Profile: Jameson Williams

The Eagles have gone receiver in the first-round of the past two drafts. Yet, the position remains one of the team’s biggest needs heading into this year’s draft.

Like most draft classes nowadays, this year’s crop of wide receivers is deep and talented. By the end of the first-round, there will probably be at least six receivers off the board. In the 15-20 range, the Eagles will be in a prime position to snag one of the top tier wideouts in this class.

If Howie and Co. want to add a truly gamebreaking X-factor to their young group, despite the recent injury history, Alabama’s Jameson Williams will likely be there for the taking.

Let’s breakdown his strengths and weaknesses and project how Williams may fit into Nick Sirianni’s offense.

The Strengths

The first thing every scout points out when it comes to Williams’ game is his speed. Despite not running at the combine or during his pro day, there’s little debate over who the fastest receiver in this draft class is. Williams can take the top off any defense, consistently torching SEC defenses throughout the 2021 season.

Every aspect if his game is fast. Williams is quick in and out of cuts, he creates separation quickly, his first step consistently keeps corners off balance, and once he hits that second gear in the open field, he’s most likely going to find the end zone. Everytime Williams touches the ball, he’s a threat to score.

During his 2021 campaign, Williams totaled 79 receptions for 1,572 yards (19.9 YPC) and 15 touchdowns. As most expected, Alabama didn’t miss a step after losing both DeVonta Smith and Jaylen Waddle to the NFL last season, due in large part to Williams’ emergence.

While Williams has the best straight line speed of any receiver in this year’s class, he also possesses natural route running ability. He utilizes his speed to keep defenders off balance on underneath routes. Corners typically played pretty far off the line when facing Williams, and the Bama wideout made them pay more often than not. He’s supremely quick on short routes.

Typically most speed demons enter the NFL a bit undersized, but Williams already has a solid NFL receiver body frame, standing at 6-foot-2, 189 pounds. He’s more physical than scouts give him credit for, routinely putting defensive backs on their ass on running plays.

We know Sirianni loves that kind of physicality in his receivers.

Much like DeVonta Smith during his collegiate career, Williams was at his best against the best competition. During the SEC Championship Game between Bama and Georgia, Williams proved to be the biggest X-factor of the contest. He racked up 7 receptions for 184 yards and two touchdowns — against a Georgia defense that featured several first-round talents.

When it comes to evaluating these receiver prospects, one thing I always look for is uncoachable traits. Williams’ game breaking speed is something every NFL offense covets. The Eagles already have some good speed at the position with Quez Watkins and Jalen Reagor, but neither of them are as refined as Williams is as a route runner. He would be the Eagles No. 2 receiver from day one and form as dynamic duo with Smith right away. His play making ability coupled with Smith’s knack for getting open would cause headaches for opposing defenses.

The Weaknesses

If it weren’t for Williams tearing his ACL in the National Championship, he’d probably be the first receiver off the board in April. He hasn’t been able to showcase his physical attributes through the combine or his pro day due to the injury, but reports suggest Williams will be ready to go come training camp.

When Williams sustained the injury, he was given a 5-7 month time frame for recovery. At the combine, he was seen without a brace or crutches. There is concern among scouts that this injury will throw off Williams’ development, and that’s understandable. But we see athletes return from these type of injuries at a rapid pace now and they typically come back good as new.

The injury shouldn’t lower his draft stock, but there will certainly be teams that shy away from him come draft night in favor of a completely healthy wideout.

Some scouts also cite Williams’ skinny frame as another red flag. He is skinny, but he doesn’t play timid by any means. This same discussion dominated every scouting report for Smith last year as well, and it was pretty clear from Week 1 that the size didn’t matter. When you’re as fast as Williams is, you’re not going to get hit as much, it’s as simple as that.

The Verdict

The Eagles could opt to go in a number of different directions come draft night. If they decide they want a receiver, Williams should be the guy they hone in on.

If they want to diversify their receiver skill set a bit, maybe they’ll target someone like Drake London or Treylon Burks. For me, it again comes down to the uncoachable trait that Williams possesses in spades: speed. You can never have enough of it in the NFL.

Pro Football Focus calls Williams a ‘bigger DeSean Jackson.’ As Eagles fans, we know what kind of game breaking talent Jackson was in his prime. Now imagine that but 3-4 inches taller and 10 pounds heavier. Pretty enticing, isn’t it?

Despite his injury, Williams will still add a lot to an offense during his rookie campaign. Especially with three first-round picks at their disposal, the Eagles shouldn’t have any hesitation taking this guy when they’re on the clock.


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