Lions' draft result will say it all about true faith in Jameson Williams

The Lions can say all they want about their faith in Jameson Williams heading toward next season, but we'll soon know if it's real.
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After a rookie season impacted by working his way back from a torn ACL, and the start of his second season delayed by a gambling suspension, something clicked for Jameson Williams late last season. Starting with Week 10, the game after the bye, he played at least 52 percent of the Lions' offensive snaps in every game he played all the way through the playoffs. Six times over that span, counting two of the three postseason games, he topped a 60 percent snap share.

More playing time didn't always yield noteworthy production, but Williams certainly ended the season on a high note with two touchdowns (one rushing, one receiving) in the NFC Championship Game. That has fostered some natural breakout buzz has heading toward his third season, when everything (health, opportunity, etc.) will ideally come together.

At the NFL Combine, head coach Dan Campbell laid out some expectations for Williams in Year 3.

"By the end of the year, we really felt like he started to come into his own,” Campbell said. “He’s going to be push to be a full-time starter now, and that’s what we’re looking for....As long as he gets back and puts the work in like we believe he will because he’s shown that, he’s only going to get better and better and better.”

Lions' draft result will say it all about real faith in Jameson Williams

Over the course of the pre-draft process, the angles on what the Lions will do at pick No. 29 and in general in the draft have been wide-ranging. And they can all be made to make sense, including taking a wide receiver early.

The general concept is the Lions could use a big "X" receiver who can win contested catches, etc. Some don't see the need at all, since Williams could theoretically fill that role. But his slight build (180 pounds) doesn't exactly give off the vibe of a receiver that will routinely win 1-on-1 battles with much beyond his speed. Which isn't a knock on him, it's just hard to project him as a contested catch maven. More generally, there's a lot of hope and projection in his outlook right now.

If the Lions take a wide receiver with one of their first three picks as it stands right now (No. 29, No. 61 or No. 73), that will say it all about their actual faith in Williams as he enters his third season. If they don't, or they don't take a wide receiver at all, that will also say it all about the faith they have in Williams- in the other direction.

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