The Detroit Lions wanted to acquire playmakers in the 2022 NFL Draft and the biggest playmaker they got is surely going to be wide receiver Jameson Williams. That’s the long-term expectation, at least.
In the meantime, the hope is that Williams can rehab the torn ACL he sustained in the NCAA National Championship game in time to return for training camp—something he believes could happen.
“I’m 13 weeks from surgery. I’ve just been doing regular movements, getting back to it. But I should be ready to go by training camp,” Williams told the Lions’ media in his post-draft press conference. “I’m shooting for training camp.”
You have to love the optimism, but the bottom line is that there is uncertainty surrounding his health, and therefore expectations should be kept reasonable for Williams in year one. So that leads us to our question of the day:
What are your expectations for Jameson Williams in year one?
My answer: My expectations are very low to start the year but the most significant thing I want to see is progression as the season goes on.
It’s important to remember that being healthy enough to get back on the field is far from the same as being 100-percent and game ready. Last season, we saw Cam Akers make an unprecedented recovery from an Achilles tear to return during the playoffs, but he was a shell of his former self. It takes time to build back the explosion and durability of a ligament after tearing it, especially to sustain the level of play that the NFL requires. For Williams, returning by training camp would be an incredibly fast recovery, even by modern standards.
That being said, any opportunity to suit up will be a good one for Williams. My expectations for much of his first season are pretty much a prolonged preseason, and I’m not expecting him to take the top off of any defenses through the first eight to ten weeks. Once we’re into November/December though, my hope would be that he begins to take shape as a gamechanger and can finish the season strong.
The end of the NFL season would coincide with about a full calendar year since his ACL tear, and at that point, I would expect him to look more like the player he was at Alabama. In the immediate, though, I wouldn’t set the bar too high, nor would I take too much stock in Williams’ training camp performances.
Your turn. What are your expectations for Jameson Williams in year one? Let’s hear it.