Jameson Williams to the Lions quickly became a big surprise
As quickly as the Detroit Lions traded up to No. 12, the selection of Jameson Williams became a big surprise.
As the news the Detroit Lions traded up from No. 32 to No. 12 on Thursday night came, the speculation followed. Are they trading up for a quarterback? Maybe a wide receiver? General manager Brad Holmes had said he wouldn’t be afraid to trade up for someone he really liked.
Then Roger Goodell officially announced the Lions had traded up to 12 and were prepared to make their selection. My heart jumped into my throat and felt sure this was a move to select Notre Dame safety Kyle Hamilton–a personal draft crush of mine in this year’s class at a major position of need for the Lions. Instead, Alabama wide receiver Jameson Williams was the pick.
Was trading up for Jameson Williams the right call?
There are a lot of ways to evaluate this pick. Williams is an incredibly talented player who further boosts a suddenly intriguing Lions’ passing attack. He was a deep threat for the Crimson Tide that tortured SEC defenses with his speed, chasing down deep pass after deep pass. While he’ll need some time to recover from an ACL tear, it’s not lined up to be a long-term concern.
A deep 2022 wide receiver class still has some Day 2 options that are enticing, like George Pickens, Christian Watson and Jalen Tolbert. Couple that with the Lions’ free agency investments at wide receiver and more pressing needs- namely at safety and linebacker- and choosing to wait a bit longer to see how the rest of the first round played out would have been the preferred play.
Overall, I don’t hate the trade or the pick. Assuming a full recovery, Williams will pair nicely with 2021 draft darling Amon-Ra St. Brown to give the Lions a formidable wide receiver duo. Friday’s second and third rounds will provide opportunities to draft a safety and/or a linebacker to fill those needs.