With the 12th pick of the 2022 NFL Draft, the Detroit Lions selected wide receiver Jameson Williams. The Lions traded up with the Vikings to get this pick and that shows they wanted Williams bad. When they traded up, it seemed like they would be selecting a quarterback, but they decided to go with a wide receiver.
Jameson Williams was buried on the depth chart at Ohio State, so the wide receiver transferred to Alabama and had a season that propelled him into first-round pick territory until an ACL tear in the national title game.
Still, even with the knee injury, he’s still going to be a top-notch pass catcher in the league sooner rather than later. During his one season where he got consistent playing time, he racked up 1,572 yards and 15 touchdowns in 15 games. He averaged just under 20 yards per reception too, which is really good considering he caught the ball 79 times in 2021.
WR Jameson Williams: Scouting Report
Williams probably would have been a first-round pick and one of the first wide receivers off the board if he didn’t tear his ACL in the national championship game against Georgia. The Tide might have another national title if that injury doesn’t happen too. While the injury might make it tough for him to make an immediate impact, it’s unlikely to change the way he plays overall.
He’s an incredibly technical route runner who gets defenders turned around quite easily. Then when the ball is in his hands, he comes alive. He has an elite second-gear that can outrun virtually anybody on the field in the college level and should be able to blow past many NFL DBs as well.
Mock Draft landing spots
Mel Kiper/Todd McShay (ESPN): No. 15, Philadelphia Eagles
“He might not be ready for Week 1 as he rehabs his torn ACL, but Williams has the wheels, elusiveness and hands to be a serious problem for NFL defenses. The Eagles keep drafting Day 1 receivers, but pairing Williams with DeVonta Smith — last year’s first-rounder — should halt that urge for quite a while.” -McShay
Chris Trapasso (CBS Sports): No. 17, Los Angeles Chargers
“Giddy up, Chargers. Williams, Keenan Allen, and Mike Williams would formulate a dynamic pass-catching trio for Justin Herbert.”
Pete Prisco (CBS Sports): No. 15, Philadelphia Eagles
“This is a risky pick since he’s coming off a torn ACL, but he’s running again and should be ready by mid-season. This would give the Eagles a game-changer.”
Vinnie Iyer (Sporting News): No. 21, New England Patriots
“The Patriots, should Wilson and Olave be gone, shouldn’t hesitate to pair Williams with another Alabama product in Mac Jones, who didn’t get to play with him in college. Williams is a big playmaker with the technical route-running skills and hands the Patriots like.”
Fantasy impact: Rookie year
Realistically, he probably won’t make a major impact during his rookie season. The ACL tear and ensuing rehab will probably have effects lasting into the regular season. When he does eventually see the field, he’ll get thrown straight into the fire without any time to get used to the NFL game.
He’ll make a play here or there, but it's unlikely he’ll be a dominant fantasy presence in his first year in the pros.
Fantasy impact: Career
That narrative will change as his career moves on, though. Assuming his recovery goes well, he should be able to make an immediate impact in year 2 when he has an entire healthy offseason and preseason to adjust entirely to the NFL game and see the speed of the game firsthand.
He should be a productive NFL starter and probably a WR1 by year 2 or 3 in the league and will provide a welcome asset to any quarterback throwing him the ball.