Jamaal Williams played the tough runner role in 2021 for the Detroit Lions, with D’Andre Swift being the more jack-of-all-trades runner (when healthy, at least). There isn’t a ton to suggest much will change in 2022, but that won’t stop Williams from setting out to change it. Williams said after Tuesday’s training camp practice “Route running, running the ball, blocking, I can do it all.” Will he get the opportunities to show that in 2022?
Question of the day: How many receiving yards will Jamaal Williams have in 2022?
My answer: I’ll put him at a career-high 275 yards.
Williams spent the first four years of his career hovering in the low-mid 200s of receiving yards before falling off to a career-low 157 receiving yards in Detroit last season. I think with a more settled offense and an intentional Jamaal Williams, we could see him jump to a new career high in 2022.
I think he has a ceiling around 300 yards through no fault of his own; it’s due to the presence of D’Andre Swift. We know that Swift excels as a pass-catcher out of the backfield, almost tripling Williams' receiving total in 2021. That’s not a knock on Williams: he’ll have to work really hard to justify eating into the targets of a receiving back as good as Swift.
Regardless of which of them comes out on top, I sure do hope Williams gets the opportunities to prove it. If he can solidify himself as a do-it-all back, the Lions put themselves in a much better position by not tipping their hand on offense. Defenses won’t have an easier read simply by checking who’s lined up in the backfield.
Will Williams have a chance to show he can do it all, or will Swift continue to get most of the attention in the passing game? Let us know your thoughts in the poll below.
How many receiving yards will Jamaal Williams have in 2022?