Lions WR Jameson Williams finally surfacing as easy post-draft winner

Lions wide receiver Jameson Williams is finally coming to light as a post-draft winner.
Cooper Neill/GettyImages

After the 2024 NFL Draft, it was easy to name wide receiver Jameson Williams as a post-draft winner for the Detroit Lions. The Lions could have drafted a wide receiver, maybe even highly, but they did not. Good luck finding his name on related lists elsewhere though, for the most part, in general or fantasy football terms.

Being that the Lions didn't draft a wide receiver at all, the runway is as clear as it can be for Williams to have a breakout campaign in 2024. A wide receiver addition could still be made, but if one is made the size of the fly in that breakout ointment for Williams is to be determined.

However, if a notable, target tree-tilting addition was going to be made, it almost surely would've been done by now.

Jameson Williams finally getting fully noticed as a post-draft winner

On the fantasy angle, and specifically a dynasty league angle, Theo Gremminger of Player Profiler had Williams on his list of post-draft winners.

"Detroit was a wildcard to add WR competition for Williams, and the No. 29 pick was viewed as a wildcard pick that could have gone in a number of ways. Detroit ultimately selected CB Terrion Arnold in the first round. They again passed on WR on Day 2 and ultimately ignored the position altogether. Williams looks poised for a fulltime WR2 role, and his breakout year could be on the horizon. Josh Reynolds departed for Denver, and his usage should be absorbed by Williams. This offense has enough quality pieces that Williams could thrive on spike weeks alone."

ESPN's Bill Barnwell (subscription required) included Williams as a winner in his post-draft winners and losers piece.

"First-round picks always get more opportunities to hold onto their jobs, which plays into Williams' favor. Lions GM Brad Holmes traded up to grab Williams in Round 1 of the 2022 draft knowing a left ACL injury would keep the wideout sidelined for most of his rookie year. Williams had one catch on nine targets in 2022. Poised for a breakout sophomore campaign, he was suspended for violating the league's gambling  to start the season, missing the first five games."

"Williams struggled to make his mark afterward. Moved into the starting lineup in Week 7, he averaged 1.4 yards per route run from that point forward, which ranked 85th in the league. He has yet to top 70 receiving yards in a game and had just 79 yards across Detroit's three playoff games, although he did add a 42-yard touchdown on a running play early against the 49ers."

"His usage rate over the past two seasons has pointed toward a limited role as a downfield target, which would be a waste given his college tape and the draft capital used to acquire him, but there's an opportunity here."

The Lions lost Josh Reynolds to the Broncos in free agency and didn't replace Reynolds during the draft. Williams played about two-thirds of the snaps during Detroit's postseason run, and he could see the field even more often in 2024. This is a make-or-break year for him, but he'll have a clear path to starting work."

Williams actually missed the first four games last season due to the gambling suspension, though he did miss a total of five games last season. The rest of Barnwell's point holds though.

Williams' place and role in the Lions' offense are concerns for a full-on breakout until shown otherwise. He's unlikely to be a high-volume target on a weekly basis. There's a lingering chance he's deployed mostly as a downfield threat, which as Barnwell hinted may be a real waste of his skills as much as anything.

Williams was an easy and immediate post-draft winner, in a broad sense and league-wide. It's nice that others are getting on-board.

5 biggest losers for the Detroit Lions after the 2024 NFL Draft. 5 biggest losers for the Detroit Lions after the 2024 NFL Draft. dark. Next