Alabama wide receiver Jameson Williams intends to enter the 2022 NFL Draft.
He announced the news via his Instagram account, a few days after reportedly suffering an ACL tear in the Tide’s loss to Georgia in the College Football Playoff National Championship.
Williams, a junior, was hurt when he took an awkward step on a 40-yard reception down the middle of the field in the first half against the Bulldogs, and fell untouched, clutching his knee. He emerged from the locker room to watch the second half from the sideline in his jersey and sweatpants. Alabama head coach Nick Saban told reporters after the game that Williams wanted to play in the second half but the team’s medical staff would not allow him to do so. He called that decision smart, citing Williams’ “future as a football player.” The injury, of course, makes that future a bit murkier.
Underclassmen have until a Monday deadline to file draft declaration papers with the NFL. Earlier on Thursday, another prized Alabama prospect, OT Evan Neal, announced his intention to enter the 2022 draft.
One of the top talents at his position in the college game, Williams exploded for 1,572 yards and 15 touchdowns on 79 receptions for the Crimson Tide this season (19.9 yards per catch). He also was a prolific return specialist with two touchdowns on 10 returns for a 35.2-yard average. Williams has elite speed, having been clocked as fast as 23 mph in practice by Alabama’s GPS tracking.
The transfer from Ohio State caught just nine passes as a sophomore at Ohio State in 2020. A year later, however, with the Crimson Tide needing to replace first-round draft picks DeVonta Smith and Jaylen Waddle at wide receiver, Williams made a transformational impact on the UA offense as a vertical threat in the deep passing game.
Although free agency can have a profound impact on draft needs, the Jaguars, Lions, Jets, and Washington Football Team are among the clubs in the most apparent need of draft help at wide receiver.