We made it, folks. April is finally here, which means the 2022 NFL Draft is officially less than a month away. The offseason is flying by and four weeks from now we’ll know what the Washington Commanders did with the No. 11 overall pick.
Fans have butted heads about what Washington should do with the pick, but the consensus opinion is that it should be used on a receiver … unless someone like Ahmad Gardner or a premier edge rusher is available.
Assuming receiver gets the nod, the Commanders should be poised to choose from at least three of this year’s most coveted prospects.
With the Jets (Nos. 4 and 10) and Falcons (No. 8) being the only teams ahead of Washington who could justify drafting a WR, one of Drake London, Garrett Wilson, Chris Olave or Treylon Burks should be available by pick No. 11.
While any one of those players would be a fantastic get for Washington, a forgotten prospect could soon join the mix of potential targets.
That player is Alabama’s Jameson Williams, who tore his ACL in the national championship game against Georgia. Just two months removed from surgery, the coveted wideout looked pretty nimble in a recent workout video.
Should the Commanders draft Jameson Williams at pick No. 11?
Most mocks still have Williams falling outside the top 15, but he was widely regarded as the top wideout in the 2022 class before his ACL gave out in the College Football Playoff Final. In fact, draft analyst Dane Brugler of The Athletic recently shared that “multiple teams” still view Williams as WR1 this year.
With that in mind — plus Williams easing concerns about his knee by breezing through his recovery — should the Commanders consider him with the 11th pick? When you consider his unique skillset, it’s not that crazy of an idea.
Everyone, including the Commanders, have their own grades, but Williams is right alongside Arkansas’ Treylon Burks as the best YAC receiver in this year’s class. We all know Williams poses an elite deep threat (his 19.9 yards per reception in 2021 ranked first in the nation among WRs who made at least 60 receptions), but he’s also capable of dominating the intermediate game, as well.
In fact, 32 percent of his 94 career receptions came within five yards of the line of scrimmage, per Pro Football Focus. That percentage ranks fifth-highest in the 2022 class behind London, Burks, Justyn Ross and Jahan Dotson.
If you can believe it, Williams leads the SEC with 12 touchdowns of 20 or more yards since 2020. That’s mind-boggling to think about considering he began his college career at Ohio State and didn’t transfer to Alabama until the 2021 season.
We’re not saying it should be Williams or bust for Washington at No. 11, but this update on his health (he plans on being physically cleared by training camp) proves he should at least be considered if he’s still available.
The fact Williams is still WR1 on some teams’ draft boards despite the fact he could be limited leading up to the regular season tells you all you need to know about his talent and how his skillet projects to translate to the NFL.
With Carson Wentz taking the reins of the offense from Taylor Heinicke, Williams’ next-level speed wouldn’t waste away in Washington. Some (me) would even say it’d be put to great use alongside Terry McLaurin and Curtis Samuel.