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Jameson Williams, David Ojabo see stock slip

They have been the 2 one-year wonders operating on parallel tracks to crash the highest 10 picks of the NFL draft. 

Then they each crashed to the turf. 

First, Alabama broad receiver Jameson Williams went down with a torn ACL within the College Football Playoff nationwide championship sport on Jan. 10. Then Michigan edge-rusher David Ojabo suffered a torn Achilles at his Pro Day on March 19. Everything modified. 

While curiosity in Williams once more is surging as he strikes additional away from damage, Ojabo is in peril of slipping out of the primary spherical. The distinction isn’t a lot in the kind of damage as a lot as it’s within the calendar and what it means: Williams vows to be prepared for Week 1, whereas Ojabo’s rookie season could possibly be a wash except he can match Rams operating again Cam Akers’ expectation-shifting five-month recovery. 

The three-way race for Williams figures to form up like this: The Chiefs’ need to switch Tyreek Hill, the Jets and every other crew who missed out when Hill was traded to the Dolphins, and AFC rivals who simply wish to preserve the speedster away from Patrick Mahomes’ arsenal. 

Alabama wide receiver Jameson Williams (1) scores a touchdown against Miami during an NCAA college football game Saturday, Sept. 4, 2021, in Atlanta.
Jameson Williams
AP

“People look at Tyreek and say, ‘Oh my God, he’s so fast,’” ESPN draft analyst Matt Miller mentioned. “He’s also versatile because you can play him inside/outside. He is very physical at the catch point. He makes 50/50 catches that 5-foot-10 guys shouldn’t make. Williams is similar in that regard. You can move him all over the formation. No one is going to be able to play man coverage against you because he is so fast.” 

Miller believes the Chiefs ought to “move heaven and earth” to safe Williams. Or steal a scene from “Draft Day” and write “Jameson Williams no matter what” on a Post-it notice. In different phrases, commerce up from picks No. 29 and No. 30 forward of the Patriots (No. 21) and Bills (No. 25). Jumping the Jets — in the event that they favor Williams over Drake London (fractured ankle in October) and Garrett Wilson at No. 10 — is a much bigger funding. 

“He’s different than a lot of the fast guys that have come out in recent years in that he’s a good route runner,” Miller mentioned. “But it’s the ability to make people miss and explode down the field. Even the play he got hurt on was a Tyreek Hill-type play.” 

Jaylen Waddle’s rookie-receiver record-setting year after an ankle damage may assist Williams, who transferred from Ohio State (15 catches in two years) to Alabama (79 catches for 1,572 yards and 15 touchdowns in 2021). There is “not a huge detriment” in his character, both, a scouting supply mentioned. 

Ojabo — thought-about a high-reward developmental project earlier than his damage — seemingly will fall to sixth amongst edges, however probably additional given the depth of the category. He had one career deal with earlier than his 12-sack breakthrough in 2021. 

David Ojabo #55 of the Michigan Wolverines celebrates after recording a sack against the Penn State Nittany Lions during the first half at Beaver Stadium on Nov. 13, 2021 in State College, Pennsylvania.
David Ojabo
Getty Images

“It’s a preference thing: Some teams that might not like one-year starters no matter how freaky they are will push him into the second round,” a scouting supply mentioned. “Before the injury, he could’ve played in special packages like how the Ravens played [Ojabo’s high school teammate] Odafe Oweh last year. He’s still a top-50 guy.” 

Two potential X elements that might carry Ojabo: Eight groups have a number of first-round picks and so they “can almost afford to draft him and it’s not like your first-round pick is not going to play this year,” Miller mentioned. The different situation is a contender with depth or a crew keen to commerce from the early second spherical into the late first spherical may covet the fifth-year choice on Ojabo’s contract as a approach to offset a lost year of growth. 

Cornerback Sidney Jones in 2017 and edge Dayo Odeyingbo in 2021 are the newest pre-draft accidents. Both suffered torn Achilles and slipped from projected first-rounders into the second. Jones is on his third crew in six seasons. Odeyingbo made little impression in 10 video games after an October debut. 

“Ojabo was a top-15 pick before the injury, but most of these guys who get hurt in the pre-draft process don’t get back to where they were,’” a second scouting supply mentioned. “It is going to affect him because he’s raw. Hopefully, the year he is going to be out gives him mental reps and he can learn that way.”

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