(Editor's Note: While the start of the 2022 NFL Draft isn't until late April, it's never too early to profile some of the key participants. The staff of DallasCowboys.com intends to preview the landscape of the draft's top prospects, with an emphasis on possible Cowboys draft picks – from the first round to the last. Today's featured player is Alabama wide receiver Jameson Williams.)
- Name: Jameson Williams
- Position: Wide Receiver
- College: Alabama
- Height/Weight: 6-2 / 179
- Did You Know? Williams continued the Tide's tradition of outstanding receiver play by earning first-team All-America honors in 2021 after transferring from Ohio State. He became just the 13th receiver in school history to post at least 1,000 yards in a season, and his 1,572 yards rank third all-time behind Devonta Smith (1,856) and Amari Cooper (1,727). Both got drafted in the first round in 2021 and 2015, respectively.
Where He's Projected:
That's still up for debate two and a half weeks before draft night. But most outside draft observers seem pretty confident that Williams will get selected somewhere in the first round, and possibly well before the Cowboys' pick at No. 24. The only wrench is Williams' injury situation. He tore the ACL in his left knee during the Tide's national championship loss to Georgia on Jan. 11 and hasn't been able to participate in any pre-draft workouts, though he recently told reporters that his rehab is ahead of schedule and he's pushing to return by training camp.
How He Helps The Cowboys:
Once Williams is fully healthy, there's little question he'll have an immediate impact for any team that drafts him. The biggest reason might be speed. Williams told reporters he would've been the fastest participant at last month's NFL Combine, and his college tape proves that's a realistic claim. Last year, 11 of his 15 touchdowns were 70-plus-yard gains, an Alabama record. The Cowboys have an obvious need for receiver depth after trading Cooper to the Browns and losing key reserve Cedrick Wilson to the Dolphins in free agency. They re-signed Noah Brown and signed four-year veteran James Washington. But starter Michael Gallup could miss the start of the season after having successful ACL surgery in February. There's already a lot of production to replace without factoring in Gallup's uncertain timetable, though the Cowboys sound confident he won't miss much regular-season time, if any. Either way, a healthy Williams would step in and help the passing game take the top off opposing defenses.
Kyle Youmans' Report: Alabama did a good job of putting Williams in places to be successful; Williams did the rest. Utilized mostly out of the slot or in bunch sets with the Crimson Tide, Williams was able to carve up defenses with his route running ability and create separation. He could be utilized in several different ways, either outside or in the slot.