Well, Thursday night was an eventful first round of the 2022 NFL draft. General manager Brad Holmes wasted almost no time when the Detroit Lions officially went on the clock at second overall, jumping at the opportunity to take Michigan’s Aidan Hutchinson.
After what felt like almost no time in between picks, Holmes decided to get aggressive, moving up 20 spots to take University of Alabama wide receiver Jameson Williams at 12th overall. While this shocked many, maybe it shouldn’t come as a total surprise?
Holmes has talked at length about his desire to acquire “game-changers”. And when healthy, Williams certainly checks that box. The speed is evident with Williams. It jumps off the screen when he eliminates angles against SEC defenders like it’s no big deal. But offensive coordinator Ben Johnson spoke on Williams’ mindset, and how that really made him stand out.
“This is a guy that he shows up on offense making plays left and right,” Johnson said of Williams. “He’s running routes full speed, whether he’s involved with a play or not. But then you turn on the next clip and then all of a sudden it’s a special teams play where he is an absolute animal.”
Williams, originally from St. Louis, began his college career at Ohio State University prior to transferring to Alabama. This gives him ties to a few players currently on the roster, including cornerback Jeff Okudah, the former 3rd overall pick from the 2020 draft. Hopefully, both are able to make a full and timely recovery, and we can watch them compete against one another in camp.
Williams now joins a receiving corps, that on paper, looks much better than it did this time last year. Let’s take a look at how everyone reacted to him becoming the newest member of the Detroit Lions.
We got my brother in the D! Let’s run it up lil bro! @bigsgjamo— Jeff Okudah (@jeffokudah) April 29, 2022
Uh oh it’s boutta get real dangerous ..— Amon-Ra (@amonra_stbrown) April 29, 2022
Both Jameson Williams’ elite acceleration and top-end speed on full display here. He turns a nice play into a game changing play. The Lions offense hasn’t had this component since Megatron. pic.twitter.com/cs9VeVVoQl— Brett Whitefield (@BGWhitefield) April 29, 2022
Jameson Williams! My man. The only one on the board right now worth a 20 pick trade up.— Chris Simms (@CSimmsQB) April 29, 2022
My #1 WR, one of the 5 or 6 best players in this draft. 3 up his ass. And you can tell he’s pissed the 2 OSU guys went ahead of him. @Lions are winning this draft, @FareedNBCS!
Envisioning Jameson Williams taking a crossing route 75 yards to the house as Ford Field erupts. pic.twitter.com/zW0d6Va94w— Lions Pulse (@LionsPuIse) April 29, 2022
Hard to argue with giving up a 3rd to get Jameson Williams in a world where Jahan Dotson is going #16 overall— Redruckus81 (@Redruckus81) April 29, 2022
The Lions came into last night with picks 2 and 32 and left with the top ranked DE and WR on the @PFF draft board— Mike Renner (@PFF_Mike) April 29, 2022
My favorite day 1 haul
While Jameson Williams is going to be a big time playmaker who can take the top off a defense.— Erik Schlitt (@erikschlitt) April 29, 2022
What's not being talked about enough is that he's going to command coverage and that is going open up a bunch of room for Amon-Ra St. Brown to do damage.
Love Brad Holmes’ aggressiveness trading up for Alabama WR Jameson Williams. Can’t be short-sighted when building a roster. Who cares if Williams starts next year on PUP list. He’s the one WR in this class that has a chance to be truly special. #OnePride— Jim Nagy (@JimNagy_SB) April 29, 2022
“You know why we love you? Because you’re a football player. We love football players, man. You eat it. You sleep it.” https://t.co/D6uPFBvgI9— Chris Burke (@ChrisBurkeNFL) April 29, 2022