Football

Injury likely sidelines Jonah Williams of Folsom High for rookie NFL season

Learn more about the Sacramento-area players invited to the NFL Combine

The Sacramento region has five NFL draft prospects invited to the annual NFL scouting combine. Alabama tackle Jonah Williams and USC linebacker Cameron Smith are among the five.
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The Sacramento region has five NFL draft prospects invited to the annual NFL scouting combine. Alabama tackle Jonah Williams and USC linebacker Cameron Smith are among the five.

The rolling momentum for Jonah Williams met a jarring and stunning detour.

The Cincinnati Bengals’ first-round draft pick out of Alabama by way of Folsom High School will likely have his rookie season wiped out after undergoing left shoulder surgery Tuesday to repair a torn labrum.

One cannot drive block unless he uses his shoulders, and Williams has been a brutish and skilled master of his craft since his Folsom days, deemed by many as the most dominant prep lineman in regional history.

A five-star recruit entering college, Williams started as a true freshman at powerhouse Alabama. He was a three-year starter at tackle before forgoing his senior season to enter the draft.

The 6-foot-5, 305-pound Williams was picked 11th overall this spring, the first lineman selected and the highest area player drafted since Reggie Rogers went seventh to the Detroit Lions in 1987.

Williams joined Gordon King of Bella Vista High and Stanford and Kolton Miller of Roseville High and UCLA as the only tackles to go in the first round from the Sacramento region. King went 10th in 1978 to the New York Giants and Miller went 15th to the Raiders last year.

Williams was immediately inserted as the left tackle starter for the Bengals in spring drills before he was injured earlier this month. He is expected to make a full recovery.

“We look forward to Jonah being a major contributor in the future, and know that he won’t let this injury deter him from still being an important part of this team,” Bengals coach Zac Taylor said in a news release. “We’re confident in our offensive line personnel as we head into training camp, and we believe they can do their part in helping this team achieve its goals.”

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