Why Jameson Williams’s Draft Stock Will Surge at NFL Combine
Jameson Williams is a guaranteed first-round pick in the 2022 NFL Draft. There's no arguing that. Since his ACL tear in the College Football Playoff National Championship, the former Alabama Crimson Tide wide receiver has appeared in the first round of any mock draft you can find on the internet.
Still, there's no denying his stock took a significant hit when he hit the turf and clutched his left knee in Lucas Oil Stadium. Before the injury, many believed Williams's potential 4.2 speed would put him firmly in the argument to be the first wide receiver selected. His stock reflected that with consistent mocks putting him top-15 and a handful even going top-10. Since then, he's been mocked as low 31 to the Kansas City Chiefs and is routinely mocked to the Las Vegas Raiders at 22nd overall as the revamped front office in the desert looks to replace the last speedy receiver out of Alabama.
But I would argue that he's being mocked too low as we approach the 2022 NFL Combine on the other side of the weekend. I understand why. The landing spots are fun and make sense. But a key factor of the NFL Combine is being overlooked that can reinvigorate Williams NFL Draft stock.
This tweet from ESPN's Adam Schefter after the championship game should serve as the biggest reminder: Jamo is still fast. This ACL injury, if his rehab has gone smoothly, won't be slowing him down.
Williams isn't a one-trick pony, but his impressive speed is what sets him apart in a deep and diverse receiving class. Even so, it's important to an NFL team to know that its investment in an early pick is what the scouts and front office expected. In the case of Williams, that means retaining his speed.
After all, think about the money discrepancy between being picked 13th overall and 22nd to 31st.
According to Spotrac, if Jameson Williams were selected 13th overall by the Cleveland Browns, his contract would be worth $18 million. If he does become a Raider at 22, his deal drops to $15 million. Fall to 31 with the Chiefs? $12 million.
Doesn't matter which way you slice it, $6 million is a lot of money.
But that explains why his stock doesn't just magically retain itself It's a team investment. The front office has to know, the coaches have to know. Even the independent scouts need to know.
That leads us back to the biggest factor: his health and availability for the start of the 2022 season. If Jamo is ready to go by August, teams will be willing to make a near-$20 million investment in him.
Think back to the 2020 NFL Draft and Tua Tagovailoa's journey to the next level. Tagovailoa suffered a much more severe injury, but his medicals came back with a resounding positivity while he attended the Combine. A few months later, the Miami Dolphins felt confident enough to select him 5th overall in the 2020 NFL Draft.
If the same happens with Williams, he'll win the Combine without even lacing up his cleats and find himself back in the conversation to be a top-15 conversation and, quite possibly, the first wide receiver selected.