On draft night, the Detroit Lions made one of the most aggressive moves of the entire draft when they jumped 20 spots in the first round to grab Alabama wide receiver Jameson Williams. Any move that aggressive comes with a lot of risk, and that’s especially true of a player like Williams, who is coming off a torn ACL suffered just a few months before he became a Lion.
Another reason the move could be defined as risky is because Williams only had one successful college season. He was stuck behind a stacked receiver room at Ohio State, but when given the stage at Alabama, he thrived.
On Thursday night, we talked with BamaOnLine.com’s Travis Reier, and he explained to us why Williams’ 2021 season was remarkable and evidence that if he can get time with a program to grow chemistry with a quarterback and fully learn an offense, his potential could be even more than what we saw last season. Williams didn’t land in Alabama until after spring practices, so his time to acclimate to Nick Saban and quarterback Bryce Young was shorter than, say, his teammate John Metchie, who has spent three years under the program.
One aspect of his game he’ll have to work on is his physical nature. While he plays with an aggressive attitude, the fact remains that he doesn’t have bulky frame—he weighs just 179 pounds—to match physical corners. He’ll have to win early with his releases, but his hand work needs improvement. That’s something Reier believes will develop at the next level.
“He’s going to have to be exceptional on his releases more so with his footwork and quickness and preparation,” Reier said. “He’s probably not going to be able to get separation—initially, at least—by winning with his hands at the line of scrimmage. Again, that’s not because he’s not willing to. I think he will, and I think he’ll continue to get stronger. So he’ll probably develop some of that.”
Our conversation with Reier expands further beyond that, talking about what kind of person Williams is, what he’s capable of doing beyond speed, what his potential is at the NFL level, and why Williams may help out in the Lions’ run game. You can listen to our entire conversation below.
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