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Dynasty Rookie Prospect Profile: Jameson Williams (2022 Fantasy Football)

by Derek Brown | @dbro_ffb | Featured Writer
Apr 28, 2022
Jameson Williams

Despite tearing his ACL in the National Championship Game, NFL teams still hold Jameson Williams in high regard.

Jameson Williams (WR) arrived at Ohio State as a beaming four-star prospect. Williams brought along high school accolades for his roadrunner-esque speed. He set state records in the 300-meter hurdles and captured two state track titles. He got squeezed by uber-talented receivers over the next two seasons, flooding the program. He only saw 29 targets in those two years, amassing 15 receptions and 266 receiving yards. Two of those players (Chris Olave (WR) and Garrett Wilson (WR)) are expected to be selected in the first round of this year’s NFL Draft, and Jaxon Smith-Njigba (WR) will likely be a top-32 selection when he comes out.

Williams took flight as a transfer in his only season at Alabama. He is in the same boat as Drake London (WR), with only one year of upper-echelon production to put under a microscope. Williams leaves college with a 54th percentile college dominator (31.1%, per PlayerProfiler.com), 19.9 collegiate yards per reception (93rd percentile), 20.7% college target share (54th percentile), and 50th percentile (20.4) breakout age. London has the early breakout age on his resume to help quell fears of a one-year wonder. Williams doesn’t have that warm blankie to fall back on to help ease the shivers.

He tore his ACL in the National Championship Game against Georgia to make matters worse. While ACL recovery is more streamlined and familiar now, this also means that Williams wasn’t able to help himself with any testing numbers. The mix of heavenly game film and metrics he posted will have to do, and from the buzz and projected draft capital tied to his name, it looks like the NFL agrees.

Jameson Williams Draft Profile

Position WR
School Alabama
Height 5-10
Weight 212
40-yard dash N/A
2021 Age 21
Class Jr.
Recruit stars* 4
Draft projection Mid to late first round

*Recruit Stars via 247Sports

Jameson Williams College Statistics

Year Games Targets (Target %) Receptions Receiving yards Yards per reception Catch rate Receiving touchdowns
2019* 4 13 (3.2%) 6 112 18.7 46.1% 1
2020* 6 16 (7.1%) 9 154 17.1 56.2% 2
2021** 15 118 (20.6%) 79 1572 19.9 67.0% 15

*Seasons at Ohio State **Season at Alabama

Jameson Williams Dynasty Fantasy Analysis

Williams arrived in Alabama and immediately threw his hat into the ring for top dog in the passing attack, competing with John Metchie (WR). Metchie was coming off a solid season in 2020 with 55 receptions, 916 receiving yards, and six receiving touchdowns. Williams took a back seat in target share (23.2% vs. 20.6%), but he led the lead in receiving yards, yards per reception, and receiving touchdowns by a wide margin.

Among FBS wide receivers with 50 or more targets (*Statistics via PFF*):
Year Formation alignment slot/wide Yards per route run (rank)
2021 27.9% / 71.9% 3.12 (13th of 251)

After digging deeper into Williams’ numbers and marrying this with his film, I was duly impressed. As a primary outside threat, Williams ranked 13th (minimum 50 targets) in yards per route run among FBS wide receivers. This lofty mark can be explained as soon as you turn on the game tape.

Jameson Williams receiving numbers at different receiving depths
Rank: among all wide receivers with 15 or more targets at each depth level
(*Statistics via PFF*):
Depth of target
(% of overall target volume)
Receiving yards (rank) Yards per route run Passer rating when targeted (rank)
20+ (27.8%) 671 (5th) 20.9 (14th) 114.6 (46th)
10-19 (29.6%) 552 (4th) 16.2 (2nd) 140.0 (14th)
0-9 (24.3%) 200 (115th) 7.14 (128th) 127.1 (16th)

Williams is a well-rounded receiver who can win at all field levels. He ranked top five in receiving yards on deep and intermediate routes while posting top-14 marks in yards per route run on deep and intermediate passes. He also finished top 16 in passer rating for good measure when targeted on short and intermediate routes.

Williams wins with route-running, hot and nasty speed, and silky-smooth footwork. He flashes crisp routes with the ability to subtly change direction without losing an ounce of speed. He also gets up to top speed with mind-numbing immediate acceleration in the blink of an eye. His deep routes and electric run-after-the-catch prowess make this pull-away speed easy to see. The vertical push in his routes, combined with the instantaneous skill to sink his hips and gear down on a comeback route, is a joy to watch. It’s easy to see why rumors have floated around that Williams is the WR1 on some NFL teams’ draft boards.

As with every prospect, Williams can further hone some small parts of his game. Standing at 6-2 and only 179 pounds, he has physicality issues at times. His 38.5% contested target catch rate (per PFF) reflects this. He does an excellent job of using his hands with varying his releases and blinding foot speed to beat the press, but he can be knocked off his routes and allow the occasional corner to get in close. The lack of play strength is also seen with only 12 missed tackles (50th, minimum 50 targets), but he more than makes up for it with his speed. These quick feet carried him to the fourth-highest yards after catch mark (9.3) among all wideouts with 50 or more targets. It wouldn’t shock me if we look back at this class in two years and conclude that Williams should have been ranked as the WR1.

Player Comp – Calvin Ridley (WR – ATL) with afterburners. Williams can win at every depth like Ridley. Ridley also struggled with contested catches (18.8% catch rate, per PFF) at Alabama, but his abilities as a route technician made this only a slight concern.

Landing Spot and Outlook

Team Drafted: Detroit Lions
Pick Selected: No. 12 overall

Jameson Williams continues the Detroit Lions’ obsession with speed from their receiving depth chart. Kalif Raymond, D.J. Chark, and Williams give the Lions a few players that can burn up the turf. Williams’ injury could lead to a slow start, but his lid lifting ability will be evident as soon as he’s ready to roll. This season, the Lions could see an uptick in their neutral passing rate with Williams, Chark, T.J. Hockenson, and Amon-Ra St. Brown filling out the target tree. Chark is only on a one-year deal, which will clear up room for Williams’ target volume moving forward in 2023. Williams has the raw talent and big-play potential to lead this team in targets and is a formidable dynasty asset.

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Derek Brown is a fantasy analyst at FantasyPros. For more from Derek, check out his archive and follow him @dbro_ffb

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