Alabama Football: Williams’ injury won’t hurt NFL Draft stock

(Photo by Todd Kirkland/Getty Images)
(Photo by Todd Kirkland/Getty Images) /

Alabama football will have another receiver in the first round

The 2022 NFL Draft is right around the corner, and Alabama football has only one lock to go in the first round. Evan Neal will be one of the first players drafted, and he has a chance to be the first overall pick. 

Behind him, the best prospect from Tuscaloosa is Jameson Williams. The OSU transfer lit up the SEC as Alabama football’s WR1. His speed carried the Tide in key moments, and he managed to fill most of the hole left by DeVonta Smith. No one will ever top Smitty, but Williams exceeded all expectations from Tide fans.

Williams suffered an ACL injury in the 2022 College Football Playoff, but he still entered the 2022 NFL Draft. His ability to work out will be limited, so scouts have most of what they’ll get to evaluate him. All he can do to help himself is interview well, and that won’t matter as much for a wide receiver as it would a quarterback.

While other receivers will have a chance to show their potential at the Senior Bowl and the NFL Combine, Williams will remain on the sidelines. Still, he should not drop in the NFL Draft for a few reasons.

For starters, this injury won’t hinder him once he comes back. He needs time to heal, but he’ll be able to show off his speed once he returns without the risk of hurting himself again or slowing down. Even if Williams is out for a few weeks of his rookie year, you’re not drafting him to change your franchise in one season. You want him to be the top target for the foreseeable future, and he can still do that.

Also, Williams has done enough to prove himself as a prospect. His speed sets him apart, and he can separate in a variety of ways. He won against the top corners of the SEC, and he should be able to do similar things against NFL defensive backs.

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Williams won’t have a chance to boost his stock any more than he already has, but he will at least be able to stay pat in the first round.