Expectations for Jameson Williams as a rookie are in eye of the beholder
Lions rookie wide receiver Jameson Williams is on a list of NFL players who could disappoint this year, but failure to meet expectations is a problem with the expectations.
Detroit Lions general manager Brad Holmes went and got one of his guys in the first round of April’s draft, with a bold move up from No. 32 to No. 12 to get wide receiver Jameson Williams. Coming off a torn ACL in January’s national title game while playing for Alabama, Williams was still regarded as one of the best wide receivers in the 2022 draft class.
The lingering question is when Williams will make his NFL debut. Head coach Dan Campbell has reflected the caution the team will show, with many predictions putting Williams’ debut around Week 4 or 5, roughly nine months out from his injury. A Week 6 bye invites the idea Week 7 could be his debut.
Lions: Can Jameson Williams truly disappoint this year?
Back in June, Maurice Moton of Bleacher Report offered one player on each NFL team who could disappoint this year. For the Lions, Williams was his pick.
"When healthy, Jameson Williams can bring an explosive component to an aerial attack. Last year at Alabama, he hauled in 79 passes for 1,572 yards and 15 touchdowns, routinely scorching defenses for big plays over the top.The Detroit Lions may have to exercise some patience with Williams coming off a torn ACL, though."
There is no “may have to exercise some patience” for the Lions with Williams. They are exercising patience, all the way around, and they will continue to.
Not to sound too existential, but disappointments almost always correlate to expectations. In a perfect world, Williams will be fully ready earlier than is being foreseen, play starter-level snap shares immediately and make notable contributions right off the bat.
But Lions’ offensive coordinator Ben Johnson has already noted the challenge it will be to get Williams fully up to speed once he’s healthy. He could be able to make a significant contribution later in the season, but before that is an iffier proposition until further notice.
If any significant production Williams has this year (at least for his first few games) is seen as a bonus, then it’ll be impossible for Lions’ fans to be disappointed in his rookie season and/or for him to disappoint the broader masses. Higher expectations loom for 2023 though.