Sometimes all people need is a change of scenery to succeed. We have seen it with Joe Burrow, and now we have seen it with Jameson Williams. The Alabama receiver completely revitalized his career in Tuscaloosa. In his one year with the Crimson Tide, he solidified himself as a first-round draft pick, one who would be a perfect fit in Minnesota.
Williams is likely a mid-to-late first-round draft pack with ever-rising stock, so the Minnesota Vikings could select him at No. 12. They could even trade back a few spots to get more draft capital and take him if they’re comfortable with that risk.
Williams’ deep-route running is his best skill. He averaged 19.9 yards per catch on 79 receptions in his first year with Alabama. Williams can take the top off the defense from anywhere on the field. Alabama didn’t have a true outside receiver in 2021, so Williams lined up everywhere.
Williams would satiate Minnesota’s need for a WR3 and fit nicely in Kevin O’Connell’s offense. KOC will constantly send receivers in motion to create mismatches, and Williams would thrive. He could fill the role that Robert Woods had with the Los Angeles Rams while also being a deep threat. He would complement Adam Thielen and Justin Jefferson by being a bona fide speedster in the slot that demands attention on every play.
Williams’ speed also perfectly suits his deep-ball prowess. Not only can he take the top off the defense, but he can also outrun them.
Williams’ playmaking ability on special teams may be the most unique part of his skillset. He is a gifted special teams contributor, something that any NFL team wants. Most star players are resistant to playing on special teams, but Williams prided himself on this aspect of his game. He is one of the nation’s best gunners and not a bad returner either.
The Vikings will need Williams to be willing to play on special teams as a rookie considering that the wide receiver room already has some talent.
Does a Vikings receiver contributing on special teams ring a bell to you?
Although Williams has freaky speed, that could also have a meaningful downside. He sometimes struggles with press coverage due to his smaller frame.
Check out a perfect example of this, where NFL draft prospect Kaiir Elam locked up Williams on a simple route:
However, don’t let his frame deceive you. Williams tries on every play and plays with aggression. Look at this textbook block:
People will be quick to mention the ACL injury he suffered against Georgia in the National Championship. However, he was walking on the sideline within a few minutes, hardly showing any signs of pain. Don’t let a minor injury overshadow tremendous amounts of talent.
To summarize Williams’ career, we have to start at Ohio State. Williams didn’t see much playing time for two years in Columbus, a testament to Chris Olave and Garrett Wilson, two of the top receivers in this year’s draft. Williams only had 15 receptions for 266 yards and three touchdowns in his two years at Ohio State.
Though Williams was good when he got the ball, he made the correct decision in transferring to a school where he could fully showcase his abilities.
Williams can now add his name to some of the best receivers in Alabama football history after his historic 2021 season, in which he racked up 1,572 yards and 15 touchdowns.
Though Williams would likely fill in a Woods-type role in the KOC offense, his most accurate NFL comparison is DeSean Jackson. Both are smaller-framed deep-threat receivers who will also contribute to special teams.
A big reason Jackson keeps getting NFL jobs is because of his speed, despite his diminishing abilities. Speed will always attract attention and open things up for other receivers. At a minimum, Williams will draw attention away from the rest of the Vikings’ offense as a rookie.
Williams is a perfect fit in Minnesota and can fill the WR3 spot they desperately need.