Jameson Williams Landing Spots: Cleveland Browns lead the way for star wide receiver

He's one of the top wide receivers in the 2022 NFL Draft class, but where are some potential landing spots for Alabama WR Jameson Williams?

Alabama wide receiver Jameson Williams is one of the hottest players in college football right now. His performances this season have the Crimson Tide on the verge of consecutive national championships. In just over four months’ time, Williams is likely to be one of the top receivers in the 2022 NFL Draft class. Where might he end up in the NFL?

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Jameson Williams landing spots

Alabama wide receivers are no strangers to success in the NFL Draft. Just last year, Jaylen Waddle and DeVonta Smith ensured that the Crimson Tide had consecutive classes with multiple first-round pass-catching prospects.

They joined a long line of Alabama receivers to etch their names into the first day of the NFL Draft. Those include current NFL stars Calvin Ridley, Amari Cooper, and Julio Jones.

Williams is not your typical Alabama receiver. He hasn’t been raised on a three-to-four-year diet of Nick Saban coaching. He hasn’t spent his career climbing the ranks of the Crimson Tide receiver room. The former four-star high school recruit out of St. Louis, Missouri, headed to Ohio State after a productive and successful career at Cardinal Ritter College Prep school.

During his two-year spell with the Buckeyes, Williams was limited to just 15 receptions for 266 yards and 3 touchdowns. When Chris Olave returned for his senior season, Williams’ future with Ohio State became unclear. The transfer portal offered a way out, and Alabama presented an opportunity with both Smith and Waddle departing for the NFL. Williams would later reveal that Alabama had nearly been his destination during his original recruitment.

A statistical standout with a sensational scouting report

As the saying goes, good things come to those that wait — and the transfer has been mutually beneficial for Alabama and Williams. The junior wide receiver has emerged as one of the most potent pass-catching threats in college football. Remarkably (given the quality that has come before him), Williams’ 1,507 yards this season are the third-most in a single season in Crimson Tide history.

Furthermore, his 15 touchdowns are sandwiched between Cooper and Jerry Jeudy for the third-most scores in a single season for the program. Incredibly, Williams had as many touchdown grabs this year as Jones did in his entire three-year Crimson Tide career. His 20.1 yards per catch comfortably outstrips the recent first-round selections from the program.

Statistically, Williams has been outstanding. Yet, his scouting report is even more sensational.

A phenomenal speed threat that breezes by opposing defenders with unerring ease, Williams also possesses impressive catch-point prowess with next-level ball tracking, body control, and balance. He’s a potential first-round receiver, but where might Williams land in the NFL Draft?

Can Williams end the Saints’ receiving woes?

With Michael Thomas missing since mid-2020, the New Orleans Saints WR room is in need of a playmaking piece. Although a quarterback carousel hasn’t helped this season, Marquez Callaway has fewer than 700 yards as the team’s leading receiver. The former Tennessee pass catcher also leads the team with 6 receiving touchdowns, just 1 more than running back Alvin Kamara.

Williams would give the Saints an automatic upgrade at the position in the NFL Draft. He also meets the size requisite that New Orleans looks for in a receiver. The Alabama WR can be the deep threat for Jameis Winston’s strong arm. Additionally, he can transform short passes into long gains with his YAC ability. The Saints are in the sweet spot for Williams’ NFL Draft range, as they’re currently projected to select 15th overall next April.

Do the Raiders return to the Alabama wide receiver well?

Listen, I love Hunter Renfrow as much as the next man. However, I think we can all admit that everyone’s favorite 40-year-old freshman isn’t a true, game-changing WR1 for the Las Vegas Raiders.

Following the departure of Henry Ruggs III, the Raiders have lacked that home-run hitter that separates good offenses from great ones. As a result, wide receiver currently projects as one of their biggest draft needs.

If Williams lasts until pick No. 18, the Raiders should run the card up to the podium and chuck their metaphorical bucket back down the Alabama wide receiver well.

Williams has the same speed profile that attracted the organization to Ruggs, albeit with a different head coach at the helm for the 2022 NFL Draft. He’d give the Raiders a three-level threat they simply don’t have on their roster at present.

Could Williams turn the Browns around?

The Saints and Raiders might not have the chance to snag Williams in the NFL Draft. Currently, the Browns are projected to have the 13th overall selection, putting them ahead of both teams in the race for the dominant pass catcher. With Odell Beckham Jr. departed and Jarvis Landry potentially hitting free agency, wide receiver could be their biggest need.

The Browns’ offense requires a receiver who can stretch the field vertically and take advantage of the space created in the short and intermediate areas of the field. That is exactly what Williams does with devastating results. He’s as equally potent turning a slant into a house call as he is tearing downfield to take the top off of a defense.

Oliver Hodgkinson is an NFL Draft and College Football Analyst for Pro Football Network. Check out the rest of his work here, and you can find him on Twitter: @ojhodgkinson.


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